Queensland Public Health Laws and COVID-19: A Challenge to the Rule of Law?

Peta Stephenson, Jonathan Crowe

Research output: Contribution to journalOnline ResourceResearch


The public health threat posed by COVID-19 has led the Australian states to impose significant restrictions on individual behaviour and freedom of movement. These restrictions vary according to the current virus ‘hotspots’ and they also vary among the states.

This post examines the mechanisms utilised in Queensland to issue public health directions aimed at curbing the spread of the pandemic. We focus particularly on the extraordinary use of delegated legislation that is exempted from the usual requirements of parliamentary scrutiny and legislative override. We argue that, notwithstanding the important public health goals of these measures, the way they have been implemented poses a significant challenge to the rule of law.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAustralian Public Law Blog
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2020


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