Challenging Disproportionate Response to SARS-COV-2 - the National State of Emergency & Victorian State of Disaster
Under both Federal and States and Territories’ legislation, consideration must be given to whether a public health risk is serious and significant enough to necessitate emergency declarations. In doing so, Governments must balance the competing need to protect the public interest, with the need to protect human rights.
Given the initial novel nature of SARS-CoV-2 and the little knowledge we had about its origins and behaviour, Government actions may have been justified. However, over the past five months it has become evident that that the decision-makers responsible for the management of SARS-COV-2 public health risks have made decisions that are significantly disproportionate to the risks and are targeting the healthy members of our communities, at the risk of neglecting the most vulnerable.
We are empathetic towards families that have lost loved ones to COVID-19, but we also recognise that as a society, we must take equal interest in all public health risks, including the biggest killers in this country being cardiovascular disease, cancer and respiratory illnesses including pneumonia and asthma.
It has become evident that our Prime Minister Scott Morrison is aligning himself with international vaccine companies such as AstraZeneca that are morally and legally bankrupt (having a history of being severely fined for false claims, kickbacks and bribery and unapproved promotion of medical products). Mr Morrison is also working closely with CEPI and its chair Jane Halton (a former Australian public servant) who is now Commissioner of the National COVID-19 Commission.
It is troubling that our Governments have overlooked Australian companies with better records in terms of safety, efficacy and ethical standards.
Meanwhile, the decision-makers at the States and Territories have echoed the troubling trend of focusing on quarantining healthy members of our communities at the risk of denying the most affected members of our community; the elderly, health workers and other vulnerable patients, the successful drug Ivermectin.
Dr Thomas Borody on behalf of The Centre for Digestive Diseases issued on 19 August 2020 a press release titled “Ivermectin Triple Therapy Protocol for COVID-19 Released to Australian GPs for Infected Elderly and Frontline Workers.”
Dr Borody provides “The Government could end the pandemic by openly encouraging GPs to prescribe these TGA approved medications. Those who test positive, are identified in contact tracing, as well as those in high-risk groups like the elderly and healthcare workers, can then access the therapy quickly.”
Meanwhile our Australian Hospitals are struggling as a result of our Government’s failure to provide them with appropriate Personal Protecting Equipment. The rest of society is paralysed as a result of the destruction of businesses, loss of income and opportunity, and increase in mental health issues, suicides, family violence, child abuse and police and other officials’ brutality.
It is problematic that massive funds are being directed at controlling and confining the movements of healthy populations whilst our health systems are being denied basic materials.
We have evidence that our Governments are not applying their own laws and are introducing draconian legislation that overrides the Constitution, the Biosecurity Act 2015 and Human Rights legislative frameworks. As a result healthy people are being treated as suspect COVID-19.
This is an invitation for all Australians impacted by these draconian changes to join our Class Action. These are the issues we've identified:-
People impacted by all detention issues such as returning travellers, cross-border travellers and other forms of detention where they are healthy.
People impacted by being required to take the Influenza Vaccination to access loved ones at residential care facilities and/or retain their employment.
People impacted by all proposed mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations and/or threats to deny essential benefits, if the vaccination is not taken.
People impacted by all inconsistent business-related closures and restrictions including unreasonable restrictions on self-employment and small business operations.
People impacted, particularly the elderly, by extended detention and isolation at Residential Aged Care Facilities and/or Hospitals leading to elderly abuse in some instances.
People impacted by denial of access to their elderly family member and/or other vulnerable family member or loved one at Residential Aged Cared Facilities, Hospitals and/or any other Facilities.
People impacted by testing requirements which include requiring body samples such as compulsory testing, punitive outcomes for not testing such as extended detention, denial of return to work or denial of benefit such as access to medical services when the person is healthy.
People impacted by unreasonable cross border rules (example being denied travel to funerals etc) by being denied travel to funerals and/or being reunited with families.
People impacted by inappropriate self-isolation requirements when they are healthy.
People impacted by inappropriate contact tracing rules including failure to be provided with prescribed contact information and classification of suspect COVID-19 case with no clinical diagnosis or presentation.
People impacted by inappropriate classification of cause of death as COVID-19.
People impacted by inappropriate requirements to undergo medical examinations or treatment of any kind without their full and informed consent.
People impacted by compulsory requirements for masking.
People impacted by denial of overseas travel.
People impacted by unreasonable complications to return home as a resident from overseas.
People impacted by inappropriate imposition of fines and/or summonses.
People impacted by the unreasonable imposition of directives restricting their movements.
People impacted by removal of their children and/or other dependants by authority.
People impacted by denial of access to medical treatments such as Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin.
People impacted by denial of PPE at hospitals and other care facilities for our frontline worker
People impacted by vaccine trials, whether by consent and consequently has suffered injury, or without consent in Residential Care Facilities and/or other facilities.
Before sending you our costs agreement and disclosure statement we wanted to explain thoroughly the process of a class action in Australia and our legal strategy.
We started our Class Action with a focus to seek a declaration and prohibition order, through judicial review, that the directives issued by the States and Territories, to require influenza vaccines on visitors of aged care facilities and employees affected by the directives, be declared unlawful and unreasonable and prohibition be granted, so that these directives cannot occur in the future, in the same manner.
As we progressed, we realised that the issues impacting our clients now extend beyond the vaccine issue and involve unlawful detention, testing (including false positives), contact tracing, masks, denial of cross border travel, denial of overseas travel, problems with returning Australians home, failures of diagnosis and recording of deaths, police brutality, fines and Court summonses, unreasonable business closures and restricting freedom of movement.
We also recognised that there's an urgent need to stop the Declaration of a State of Disaster in Victoria because it's not supported by the data and statistics.
We felt the best approach would be to launch a judicial review process in relation to all the directives that are impacting Australians across all States and Territories.
Judicial review means to review a matter to ensure that the power exercised was properly exercised, in accordance with the statute or legislation. Another way of putting this is to determine if the decision was lawful. This can mean a number of things. For example, it could mean that a decision was made ultra vires, or outside the decision maker’s scope of power or authority. Or it could mean that the decision maker took into account irrelevant factors, or failed to take into consideration relevant factors. In determining whether a decision maker exercised his or her power within the law, the first place to look is the legislation which grants that decision maker the power to make the decision.
A decision may also be made unlawfully if the decision maker was biased, acted unreasonably, was dishonest or did not give someone the ability to be heard, or to give evidence before making the decision (denial of natural justice). Finally, it could just mean the decision maker misunderstood the law.
We examined comprehensively all the legislative frameworks applicable including the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Commonwealth), the Constitution and the extensive human rights legislative frameworks. We also examined closely all the respective public health and emergency frameworks that exist within the States and Territories.
We decided that the best way forward is to approach the process through judicial review and in part, a Constitutional challenge on the following basis:
In relation to all States and Territories, a challenge will be made to all these directives and other obligations imposed under the respective public health and/or emergency powers by seeking a declaration or declarations that the directives made in so far as they relate to the management and containment of a human biosecurity risk are inconsistent with the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth) and contravene section 109 of the Constitution.
In relation to all States and Territories, a challenge would be made to specific laws that have been passed under some of the States and Territories legislation, including challenge to removal of children from their parents and removal of clothing such as underwear when forcibly detaining individuals for vaccination and/or treatment that go beyond the ambit of both the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth) and the Constitution.
Specifically, for Victoria, we will be launching an urgent injunction to stop the current Declaration of a State of Disaster. If you select your state as Victoria, we will automatically put you towards our Injunctive Relief Claim in Victoria against the State of Disaster as well as the National Class Action in relation to the State of Emergency- you will not be required to fill in any further forms.
Consideration will also be given to taking action against the Commonwealth of Australia, for their failure to utilise the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth) and act on their quarantine powers, despite principal decisions being made at the Federal level through the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.
The case will also raise a number of issues with regards to human rights and our medical right for freedom of choice, liberty and self-determination.
Each State and Territory has its own unique judicial review process. We aim to place the matter either before the Federal Court of Australia or the High Court of Australia under what is called its original jurisdiction. Usually such a case will be placed in the respective States and Territories Supreme Courts, however, because the matter is affected by all the States and Territories, we have the ability to consolidate it before the High Court of Australia where the Court provides such approval.
The process of judicial review does not typically have a compensation component, as what we are seeking to do is declare the decision and/or directive invalid and stop the decision-maker from making the same decision and/or directive again. Once we achieve this outcome, then I could look specifically at each individual case with regards to the unique aspects that may invoke compensatory considerations. However, the purpose of the court case will not be to seek compensatory relief, but rather a reaffirmation of our rights and liberties and to stop the States and Territories from continuing with their course of conduct.
In effect, the main purpose of this action is to stop our administrators from taking away our basic rights not to be treated or labelled as sick and having to prove our health. Our administrators do not have the right to restrict our movements in the manner that they have and impose on us restrictions that are unreasonable and disproportionate to the risks. They also cannot medicate, treat, test, examine, detain and vaccinate us without ensuring that the strict processes of the Biosecurity Act 2015 are applied.
We have detailed the concerns of all of our clients to date, by writing to all Governments, States, Territories and Federal, which is available to view below, to show you how serious we are in advancing our actions and that our actions are based on sound evidence. We have also comprehensively set out the processes involved in our class action, in the following links.
Please if you can initially complete the form below. Once you complete the form, you will be sent out an email with our costs agreement and disclosure statement for signing and return. You could nominate an amount of costs contribution between $250 and $2000. This is a once off payment and it is capped, so we will not request any further payments from you. If you wish to be an applicant representative, we will contact you in due course to discuss, but we expect you to make a minimum contribution of $100.
We will contact each applicant representative as part of this process. Please indicate in the form below if you would like to be considered as an applicant representative.
A reminder that if you select your state as Victoria, we will automatically put you towards our Injunctive Relief Claim in Victoria against the State of Disaster as well as the National Class Action in relation to the State of Emergency- you will not be required to fill in any further forms.
We can’t wait to rock it out with you!
We are so proud of the family we have built.
Complete the below form to secure your place in this class action.
Serene Teffaha & the Advocate Me Team