Civil liberties concerns over Australian police powers to issue fines for coronavirus rule breaches

Most states say police will use discretion over potential social distancing violations, but rights advocates argue public messaging on new laws can be unclear.

Julian Burnside, a human rights barrister and spokesman for Liberty Victoria, told Guardian Australia that “on the surface, these measures interfere appallingly with human rights – but for good reason”.

“My instinct is that it’s a pretty serious health crisis,” he said. “[Directions] like this are probably justifiable in order to minimise the extraordinary acceleration of infection and in some cases death.”

Media Type: 
The Guardian
Matilda Bosely