Supreme Court rules Queensland's vaccine mandate 'unlawful'

Mandate applied to Queensland's emergency services starting in pandemic

Supreme Court rules Queensland's vaccine mandate 'unlawful'

Queensland's Supreme Court has ruled that the COVID-19 vaccine mandates for the state's police and ambulance employees were unlawful, according to reports.

The vaccine mandates were implemented in 2021 and 2022, ordering police and ambulance employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or risk potential disciplinary action, including termination of their employment, The Australian Associated Press reported.

The mandates were challenged in court by three lawsuits, raised by 86 parties, claiming that authorities failed to consider their human rights that were relevant to the orders, among other arguments.

Vaccine mandate 'unlawful'

Queensland's Supreme Court ruled against the mandates, citing the failure of police commissioner Katarina Carroll to consider human rights relevant to the mandates.

According to the ruling, the commissioner's evidence that she considered a relevant human right in making the decision was "vague and inconclusive."

"I do not accept that the commissioner had either identified the human rights that might be affected by the decision; or considered whether the decision would be compatible with human rights," the ruling read.

It added that former Health Director-General John Wakefield was unable to prove he issued the vaccine mandate under an implied term of the employment agreements for ambulance service workers, according to the Australian Associated Press report.

This makes the mandates "unlawful" and have no effect, according to the ruling, as reported by the media.

Government response to mandate decision

In response to the ruling, Queensland Health Minister Shannon Fentiman maintained that the mandate remains lawful and "compatible with human rights."

"But there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate that it was a reasonable direction under the employment contract," Fentiman said as quoted by ABC News.

Queensland Premier Steven Miles also told the media that they have "no regrets" in the steps they took during the pandemic.

According to the premier, the state government is now seeking Crown law advice in the wake of the court decision.

Recent articles & video

Remote worker speaks out about 'unfair dismissal'

Victoria public sector workers to receive paid menstrual leave

'Redundant' general manager claims suitability for new executive role

Worker fights with supervisor, says: 'I've had enough. I quit'

Most Read Articles

Revealed: HRD Australia 5-Star Employers of Choice 2024

Employer sacks manager after out-of-work injury: Was it unfair dismissal?

Fair Work Commission confirms employers can require employees to attend workplace