A Discussion of Victoria's Pandemic Bill
Professor Kristen Rundle, Associate Professor Will Partlett and Associate Professor Maria O’Sullivan discussed Victoria’s Pandemic Bill on Wednesday 10 November 2021.
The Victorian Government recently introduced Australia’s first fit-for-purpose pandemic legislation, the Public Health and Wellbeing (Pandemic Management) Bill 2021. The Bill, which confers broad executive powers including powers of detention and imprisonment, has passed the lower house and will be debated in the Victorian upper house in mid November. The Bill has provoked controversy arising from the scope of Ministerial power, its interference with civil liberties and the adequacy of parliamentary oversight mechanisms. These questions involve complex issues of statutory institutional design that are highly relevant to the flexible state-level constitutional law systems in Australia.
This panel bought together public law experts to discuss the bill, to consider ways to improve parliamentary scrutiny over the pandemic powers and to consider whether the law should expire after a certain period of time. The Panel will be highly relevant to anyone interested in civil liberties, the rule of law and public health management in Victoria.