The Federal Human Rights Commission needs to openly review the Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Pandemic Management) Bill 2021 and in the meantime withdraw it (if necessary with a short extension of the current State of Emergency).  

The passing of the Victorian Pandemic Bill kills human rights in Victoria.   

This is not a matter of politics but about human rights recognised by a Labour Government in the original Charter of Human Rights and in the International Bill of Rights. 

The basic human rights of Victorians are set out in the Victorian Charter of Human Rights: 

  • The recognition and equality before the law; s8. 
  • The right not to be arbitrarily deprived of life; s9. 
  • The right not to be subjected to medical treatment without free consent; s10. 
  • The right to freely move within Victoria and to enter and leave; s12. 
  • The right to freedom of thought; s14. 
  • The right to freedom to speak; s15. 
  • The right to peaceful assembly; s16. 
  • The right to freedom of association with others; s16. 
  • The right to participate in the conduct of public affairs; s18. 
  • The right to liberty and not to be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention; s21. 
  • The right to humane treatment when deprived of liberty; s22. 
  • The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law; s25. 
  • The right to have any criminal offence and sentence reviewed by a higher court; s25. 

This killing is carried out under the subterfuge of the Minister of Health making pandemic orders; s165AI.  But the Health Minister is not independent and is a disguise for the Premier of the day, presently Dan Andrews, and pandemic orders may have little to do with a pandemic. 

Pandemic orders are effectively unlimited and unreviewable.  

Unlimited, in that an order can require detention of persons, restricting movement, regulating public or private gathering, requiring provision of information and requiring testing and medical examination of persons; s165AI.  And can differ between or vary by reference to any attribute, including their beliefs on political beliefs; s165AK.  All on the view that the Premier believes in his effective absolute discretion that is reasonably necessary to protect public health. 

The Bill transfers power to legislate from Parliament to the effective non-reviewable discretion of one man, the Premier. 

If there is any doubt on this see the open letter from the leading Victorian barristers at https://www.smh.com.au/politics/victoria/antithetical-to-basic-democratic-principles-top-silks-oppose-pandemic-laws-20211029-p5948m.html and a summary of the Bill by the Rule of Law Education Centre. 

Rule of Law Institute of Australia 

Robin Speed AO 

2 November 2021