(Natural News) An Australian court has ruled that mandates requiring teachers, health professionals and construction workers to be vaccinated or face restrictions on their freedom of movement are legal.
A group of individuals launched a legal action in September against the state’s vaccine mandate. The subjects of the lawsuit include Health Minister Brad Hazzard, Chief Medical Officer Kerry Chant and the state and federal government.
At the height of the delta outbreak in Sydney, New South Wales, the government mandated that those living within a “hotspot” should receive one dose of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine before they could leave their local government area to work. The restrictions have since been removed.
Justice Robert Beech-Jones of the NSW Supreme Court says it is the court’s function to determine whether health restrictions were valid and whether or not a minister “acting reasonably” would implement similar measures to deal with a public health crisis.
Judge says health minister has power to overturn rights
Beech-Jones said that the state health minister had the power to overturn rights as the public health orders were doing the “very thing which the legislation sets out to achieve.”
“So far as the right to bodily integrity is concerned, it is not violated as the impugned orders do not authorize the involuntary vaccination of anyone,” he says.
Vaccine mandates, in their legal construction, allow residents to opt out of receiving the jab – but at the risk of not being employed or granted access to some venues. As far as the impairment of freedom of movement is concerned, the degree of impairment differs depending on whether or not a person is vaccinated or unvaccinated. Curtailing the free movement of persons, including their movement to and at work, are the type of restrictions that the Public Health Act authorizes.
The judge adds that Australia does not have a bill of rights in response to the plaintiffs’ argument that the Public Health Act did not authorize interference with a person’s rights or freedoms.
Beech-Jones concludes that the public health orders were not construed as “unreasonable,” stating that only when individuals were differentiated on the “basis of race, gender or the mere holding of a political opinion” would they be at risk of being “invalid as unreasonable.” He has dismissed all claims with costs to be agreed to.
This judgment is the first in a series of cases challenging restrictions on unvaccinated individuals in Australia.
With the help of an online fundraiser, Regional Deputy Mayor John Larter is challenging a public health order mandating healthcare workers in the state to receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by September 30, and the second dose by November 30. (Related: Governors vow to fight Biden vaccine mandates.)
The current proceedings have been viewed over 1,412,279 times, with over 390,000 views on the first day of the hearing proper on September 30 – indicating significant interest in the case.
In the U.S., the Biden administration also recently mandated vaccinations for federal workers and contractors, while the Department of Veterans Affairs issued mandates for all frontline healthcare workers at its facilities. The military has also been ordered to move toward compulsory vaccinations.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have ruled that businesses may lawfully require workers to get vaccinated as a condition of returning to the workplace, but must grant legitimate medical or religious exemptions.
As for the federal and state governments, states have the constitutional authority to mandate vaccinations, which the Supreme Court has upheld twice in 1905 and 1922. However, the federal government has limited power to mandate vaccines – it can only do so to prevent transmission of a dangerous infectious disease across state lines or international borders.
Before this year, the federal government has never sought to require nationwide vaccinations, and the courts will probably not allow it to do so.
Read more news related to COVID-19 vaccine mandates at Pandemic.news.