(LifeSiteNews) — At first glance, the news that three victims of Australia’s absurd Covid-19 fines won a victory in New South Wales Supreme Court seemed to signal a major victory. This was followed up, within hours, by the Commissioner of Fines Administration removing 33,121 fines, which is just under half the 62,138 COVID-related fines issued in the state. Revenue NSW figures show the fines totalled $56.4 million from March 2020 to April 2022 “for various breaches.” About half of that money now has to be returned.
Samantha Lee, acting principal solicitor at Redfern Legal Centre and instructing solicitor for the plaintiffs, was understandably jubilant, describing it as an “incredible day for the people.” She claimed that “justice has been granted to three people who took on the NSW government regarding the validity of their COVID fines and won!”
It was certainly a significant blow against tyranny, and there are likely to be similar actions in other states, especially Victoria, where the lockdowns were savage and the police acted with brutality – including using rubber bullets against demonstrators and armoured cars against unarmed citizens. Tiffany Overall, Policy, Advocacy & Human Rights Officer for the Victorian human rights group Youthlaw, says they are “looking into the possibility and will be seeking advice from a barrister on the merits of any similar action.”
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But a closer look at the decision suggests that it is a long way from correcting the profound destruction of Australia’s legal and civic institutions. The case was won on a technicality, not a wider legal or moral principle. Because the legislative edicts from the state governments kept shifting as bureaucrats and politicians reeled from one hysterical position to another, it was not possible to work out from the documents what the three people had actually been fined for.
The circumstances were absurd and the financial penalties ludicrous. One of the plaintiffs, Teal Els, was fined $3000 for sitting in a park after exercising with her sister. Another, Rohan Pank, was fined for sitting on a park bench (this fine was later withdrawn). He was within one kilometre of his home and was told he had breached a public health order by not actively exercising. Shortly afterwards, “sitting for relaxation” was defined by the New South Wales authorities as “exercise of recreation” and therefore legal. The authorities were, in other words, just making it up as they went along.
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Labour MP Stella Creasy has threatened to table an amendment to the Government’s upcoming Bill of Rights to give women the “fundamental right to an abortion”.
Ms Creasy has already been instrumental in imposing abortion on Northern Ireland, promoting DIY abortion, and banning pro-life vigils around abortion clinics. Now she wants to remove any restrictions on abortion. She even wants decisions on abortion law to be taken out of the hands of elected politicians by making it a “right”.
Sign this petition calling on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to resist any attempt to make abortion a right.
There is no right to abortion in international law. None of the nine core treaties of the United Nations recognises abortion as a human right (including the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women).
Instead, several human rights instruments recognise the right to life of children before birth. The Declaration of the Rights of the Child states: “... the child by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection before as well as after birth...”
There can be no right to end the life of an innocent unborn child.
The UK already has some of the most permissive abortion legislation in Europe. A right to abortion would make the situation here even worse. Creating an absolute “right” to abortion would logically mean removing any restrictions. The worst implications of this could include:
• The removal of any gestational limits, allowing abortion up to birth
• Abortion based on the gender of the baby
• The removal of medical safeguards, including the involvement of doctors
• Erosion of conscience rights for medical professionals
Sign this petition to tell Mr Sunak not to make abortion a right.
The overturn of a Court decision in the United States has no direct implications for abortion law in the UK, which is regulated by Acts of Parliament. The regulation of a controversial issue such as abortion should lie with democratically elected MPs, not the courts. Robert Buckland MP, the former Justice Secretary, has warned that enshrining abortion as a right “risks bringing our courts into the political arena as in the United States”.
Tell Mr Sunak to stand up for parliamentary democracy and a true understanding of human rights, and resist any attempt to make abortion a right.
According to Lee, many of the infringement notices did not stipulate what someone had allegedly done wrong or what crime had been committed. That the government has withdrawn almost half the fines after the court decision confirms this claim. Many of the fines were illegitimate. Even it is possible to identify what the transgression was – and it seems that the notices were too vague for that purpose – there was no way of knowing what the police had to prove to justify what they had done. A picture emerges of an out-of-control government and police force aggressively taking away the citizens’ freedoms without any clear idea of what they were doing.
Australia’s Public Service should be renamed Australia’s Public Menace. Consider the way Revenue New South Wales withdrew half the fines. First of all, there was not a glimmer of apology, or a recognition that an error had been made in the statement. While recognising that the courts had decided that the notices did not provide a “sufficiently detailed description of the offence committed and are therefore invalid,” Revenue NSW belligerently added that “this decision does not mean the offences were not committed.” The implication is: “We know you are guilty, we just got our paperwork wrong.” There is no understanding that the whole outrage should never have occurred in the first place.
Then, in another demonstration of the smug certitude that government operatives have displayed throughout the last three years, Scott Johnston, chief commissioner of State Revenues for Revenue NSW, announced in a self-congratulatory tone, “We’re ready to answer the calls that come, customer service is important to us and doing a good and fair job.” Apparently it is no longer a matter of imposing ridiculous fines on citizens for unspecified dangers to public health. It is now a matter of “customer service.”
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Lee commented that her win “places the responsibility on the Commissioner of Fines and Administration to ensure that fines adhere to the required legislation.” This tells only a small part of the story. The core problem is the aggressive certitude that governments and police repeatedly displayed when they imprisoned the Australian population, forced them to wear masks, and mandated that people either participate in an experimental drug trial or not be allowed to work. The financial penalties were extreme: the maximum fines in Victoria for individuals were $45,000 and for businesses $225,000. Failing to wear a mask in Perth airport could have attracted a fine of $50,000.
Evidence is accumulating around the world that lockdowns were counterproductive, masks had no effect (hardly surprising considering the holes in the masks are 80 times the size of the virus), and the vaccines are neither safe nor effective. Indeed, they are not even vaccines; they are genetic therapies that do not match the Federal government’s own definition of what a vaccine is.
Yet none of this matters to Australia’s political leadership or out of control bureaucrats. They were right because, well, they were right. Shut up and obey. We are the government.
The damage done to Australia’s institutions and social contract will not be repaired until the country’s political leaders look up the word “conscience” in the dictionary and start to examine what they have done. And when public servants start to remember what the word “service” means.