A lawsuit has been filed in the NSW Supreme Court in response to mandatory COVID-19 vaccine requirements for some NSW professions.
Sydney solicitor Tony Nikolic – who previously represented the protestor accused with punching a horse at Sydney’s anti-lockdown march – has filed the suit against Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant, with the matter expected to be heard on Friday, August 3.
Law firm Ashley, Francina, Leonard and Associates argues that the public health orders requiring “a broad class of workers” to be vaccinated is illegal and unconstitutional.
The firm also argues that the additional powers granted to police to enforce public health orders during the most recent lockdown are illegal.
“We have received thousands of inquiries from front-line workers – police, paramedics, nurses, aged care [staff], doctors, firefighters – construction workers, teachers, airline staff, miners, truck drivers, university students, mums and dads and, importantly, employers,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
“It is our view that vaccine compulsion strips citizens of their basic human rights, including their right to work, their right to bodily integrity and their right to informed consent to medical treatment without coercion.”
The suit seeks a declaration that the NSW public health orders are invalid, as well as a ban on any further orders made by Mr Hazzard and Dr Chant.
“No-one is above the law, including ministers and public health officers.”
Mr Nikolic has advertised for plaintiffs to join the suit via the firm’s website and the social media platform Telegram, which has also been used to organise and incite anti-lockdown protests across Australia.
Nikolic posted to Telegram on Saturday, praising politicians such as Craig Kelly, Reverend Fred Nile, and Pauline Hanson for their opposition to lockdowns and mandatory vaccinations.
“You are born free, free to choose, freedom from arbitrary detention, freedom of bodily integrity – don’t give it away for free,” he said.
“Don’t be bullied.”
Is it illegal?
According to an article published in The Medical Journal of Australia by Dr Dev Kevat and colleagues from several Melbourne health institutions, Australian employers could mandate vaccination of high-risk workers.
“Such a direction may well be lawful and reasonable, excepting for those with relevant medical exemptions, for whom low risk roles must be sought if possible,” Kevat and his colleagues wrote.
However, this would vary state to state, based on their legislation.
Image: Getty Images
This article first appeared on Over60.