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Human Rights Commission is against Queensland's vaccine mandate

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Human Rights Commission BLOCKS Queensland’s hated vaccine mandate rule for teachers – and tells Supreme Court it’s ‘unjustified’

  • The Queensland Human Rights Commission is against teacher vaccine mandate
  • QHRC made a submission as an intervener in Supreme Court case against CHO
  • QHRC alleges CHO John Gerrard acted outside his power in teacher mandate

The Queensland Human Rights Commission has told the Supreme Court vaccination mandates on teachers and early childcare workers are unjustified.

The Supreme Court heard the QHRC believes Queensland Chief Health officer John Gerrard acted outside of his power by mandating vaccination for teachers without considering less harsh alternatives.  

The QHRC made a submission as an intervener in the Supreme Court case against vaccine mandates by three groups of teachers and early childcare workers who were suspended.  

The Supreme Court heard the QHRC believes Queensland Chief Health officer John Gerrard acted outside of his power by mandating vaccination for teachers and early childcare workers

The Supreme Court heard the QHRC believes Queensland Chief Health officer John Gerrard acted outside of his power by mandating vaccination for teachers and early childcare workers

Vaccine mandates have been the subject of several major protests in Queensland since late last year

Vaccine mandates have been the subject of several major protests in Queensland since late last year

‘The right not to be subjected to non-consensual medical treatment has clearly been limited by the directions and, on the evidence, other rights also,’ the submission read.

The vaccine mandate means teachers and early childcare workers who do not provide proof of vaccination cannot enter their workplaces or ‘high risk settings’.  

Counsel for QHRC said Dr Gerrard’s right to give health orders was based on him showing ‘reasonable and demonstrably justifiable limits upon human rights’. 

The QHRC counsel alleged Dr Gerrard's most recent direction on February 4 did not comply with section 58(1) of the Human Rights Act

The QHRC counsel alleged Dr Gerrard’s most recent direction on February 4 did not comply with section 58(1) of the Human Rights Act

‘On the present evidence … the limits on human rights imposed by the current CHO direction are not demonstrably justified and so, the direction was outside of power,’ the submission argued.

Counsel claimed Dr Gerrard’s most recent direction on February 4 did not comply with section 58(1) of the Human Rights Act.

The sections stated ‘it is unlawful for a public entity in making a decision, to fail to give proper consideration to a human right relevant to the decision’.

The QHRC claimed Dr Gerrard did not consider the voluntary vaccination rates of teachers and early childcare workers or options like thrice-weekly RAT testing and the use of face masks before making his direction.

The submission also claims Dr Gerrard failed to give a timeframe for when the mandate would be lifted or considered how effective the vaccine is against Covid variants – like Omicron. 

Justice Jean Dalton recently ruled Dr Gerrard’s health orders were considered legislative decisions, not administrative, but her judgement has been appealed.  

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