What should have been over before the South Australian Election on the 19 March, 2022 has stopped and started it way in May and has now found a potential inadequate conclusion at the hands of the evaporation of the declaration of the State of Emergency, that has lasted 793 long and some say unnecessary days.
Our previous article on the progress of the judicial review will bring youup to speed if needed.
This change means SARS-CoV-2 and its associated disease COVID-19 are to be managed by newly passed Public Health Act legislation. Thenew legislation allows a South Australian COVID cabinet sub-committee to impose COVID-19 restrictions and directions that are then officially imposed by the South Australian governor.
The amendment to the Public Health Act 2011 was passed on 24 May 2022 despite graves concerns from the Law Society of South Australia who outlined the lack of safeguards that would normally protect individual freedoms, with no accountability mechanisms to ensure that the advice given to enforce public health directions is independent and publicly available.
For many long drawn out weeks, Justice Hughes, who had been hearing the current judicial review, had been angling at a ‘what if’ scenario should the mandates or Emergency declaration end.
This is now a reality with the Crown requesting the judicial review be dropped.
The good news for the current judicial review applicants is they believe they have grounds and legal avenues to now pursue the amended Public health Act directly, in part, due to the act having ‘picked up’ the 7th Emergency Management Directive for Health Care Workers that was originally under challenge during the judicial review.
The advantages of continuing this challenge via the Appellate Court is that much of the ground work and expert evidence could be reused saving time and money but it does come with a potential costly snag. The old review had a payout cap on damages of $50000, the problem with any new case is that agreement no longer stands and places each of the 2 remaining applicants at personal financial risk. There has been much chatter on the social webs asking for financial support to see this new challenge get off its feet with protection of the applicants.