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Rights and freedoms: right by right
"The following overview of rights and freedoms draws on material prepared by the Attorney-General’s Department in consultation with the Australian Human Rights Commission ... "
What is the Commission’s view on limiting human rights during COVID-19?
"Our starting point should always be that everyone’s rights are precious and should only be restricted where there is no other alternative. Protecting public health and protecting human rights are not mutually exclusive choices. Measures to protect public health can protect human rights, like the right to life. And restrictions on human rights can sometimes be justified if they are necessary to protect public health ..."
COVID-19, risk and rights: the ‘wicked’ balancing act for governments
"COVID-19 has caused a global public health emergency, a global economic emergency, and a global human rights emergency. The crisis is detrimentally affecting all recognised human rights in every country ... "
Experts unpack the anti-lockdown COVID-19 protests that hit Australia's capital cities last weekend
"Academics say a lack of bipartisan leadership has contributed to anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination sentiment, urging politicians to present a united front and treat protesters with empathy to curb their dissatisfaction ... "
Thousands rally in Brisbane against lockdowns and masks as the state records no new cases
"Thousands of people have rallied against COVID-19 lockdowns and vaccinations in Brisbane. The protest on Saturday came as Queensland recorded no new cases of the virus. Police estimated 7,500 people gathered in the Botanic Gardens and marched through the city, many of whom were not wearing masks ... "
What are the protests against Victoria’s construction union all about?
"After violence on Monday outside the Melbourne offices of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy union, the Victorian government ordered a snap two-week shutdown of the construction industry. Yesterday these protests continued, with up to 2,000 demonstrators holding up traffic around Melbourne’s CBD and clashing with police ... "
legislation and government policy freedom
Legislation and Government Policy
Right to freedom of movement
"The right to freedom of movement includes the right to move freely within a country for those who are lawfully within the country, the right to leave any country and the right to enter a country of which you are a citizen. The right may be restricted in certain circumstances ... "
Right to freedom of opinion and expression
"The right to freedom of opinion is the right to hold opinions without interference, and cannot be subject to any exception or restriction ... "
Privacy and reputation
"The prohibition on interference with privacy and attacks on reputation prohibits unlawful or arbitrary interferences with a person's privacy, family, home and correspondence. It also prohibits unlawful attacks on a person's reputation. It provides that persons have the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks ... "
Emergency health management
"Health emergencies include disease outbreaks, natural disasters and mass casualty incidents. Find out what we’re doing to prevent, prepare for and respond to health emergencies ..."
How the Queensland Government’s Emergency Restrictions on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) work
"This resource explains the basis for, and extent of, the COVID-19-related restrictions in Queensland as at 4 January 2021.
On 29 January 2020, the Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services made an order declaring a Public Health Emergency due to COVID-19 under the Public Health Act 2005 (QLD) (the Act). This Public Health Emergency has been extended to respond to COVID-19 and ends on 31 March 2021 ..."
Covid crackdowns make the case for a bill of rights.
"The pandemic has starkly illustrated the tension between democracy and freedom. While democracy may be a necessary condition for a free society, it's evidently not sufficient. That requires additional constraints. Freedom relates to the rights of individuals, or group of individuals, within a society; democracy is a system of government where the majority make the rules. The tyranny of the majority, as ancient Greek philosophers recognised, could undermine individual freedom, putting unreasonable burdens on a minority. What's popular isn't necessarily good or right ... "
case law and commentary freedom
High Court of Australia rejects challenge of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions
"The High Court rejected a Melbourne business owner's claim that Victoria's Lockdown Directions infringed an implied freedom of movement from the Constitution. The Court's decision upheld the settled approach to constitutional interpretation, confirming the Constitution provides no basis for an implication of freedom of movement that limits legislative or executive power ... "
COVID-19 and the Australian Human Rights Acts
"The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a devastating loss of life and economic stagnation across the globe. Governments have quickly introduced laws and policies to reduce the spread of the virus, ease the burden on health systems, and assist flailing economies. Australia is no exception in this regard. The scale and scope of the government response at the Commonwealth, state and territory levels is nothing short of massive ... "
Where is the line on COVID-19 emergency measures?
"To be prescribed by law, limitations on people’s human rights must be clearly set out in laws (or a comparable measure, for example, delegated legislation) that are public and made in advance. The laws must disclose with sufficient certainty the extent of interference with people’s human rights and the reasons for it ... "
Coronavirus, emergency laws and civil liberties: Are our rights and freedoms at risk?
" ... Medical experts have stressed the vital importance of many of these new realities as temporary necessities to halt the spread of coronavirus and prevent deaths ... "
Covid’s Other Casualties Fundamental Rights in the Age of COVID-19
"The thorny question of vaccination is the latest issue to add moral complexity to some of the controversial strategies adopted by governments for tackling COVID-19. With one hand, the state
confers rights and freedoms; with the other it appears to withdraw them when, apparently, the greater public good demands it. “We’re all in this together,” we are told repeatedly by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and others ... "