COVID Myth-Busting: Power, Rights and the Law

Wednesday, 27 October, 2021 - 17:30 to 19:00
Western Australia

A collaboration with the UWA Law School and the Australian Association of Constitutional Law

About this event

In an attempt to contain virus spread as well as harmful economic and social impacts, governments around the world have harnessed their powers to impose extraordinary obligations on their citizens. From lockdowns, curfews and travel bans to vaccine passports and tracking and tracing apps, we have become aware of and felt the effects of concentrated executive power every day.

In Australia, the extended use of these exceptional measures have been challenged on constitutional grounds. They have led to heated criticism by civil rights advocates, and a recent series of ‘freedom marches’ across the country. Are our constitutional rights actually being subverted? What alterations to our social fabric are permissible under the law? How much faith can we have in conventional checks and balances?

To shed light on some of the implications of COVID for citizens’ rights and the extent and limits of constitutional and emergency powers of governments, the UWA Public Policy Institute, the UWA Law School, and the Australian Association of Constitutional Law are hosting a public ‘Ask the experts’ panel discussion. During this event, our experts will dissect some of the controversies in this space and participants will have the opportunity to ask their most pressing questions.

Panel line-up

Hear from and ask questions of a range of legal academics and practitioners:

- Associate Professor Meredith Blake, health law and ethics

- Dr Murray Wesson, constitutional law and human rights law

- Ms Julie Falck, administrative law

Constitutional law expert Professor Sarah Murray will moderate the discussion.