NSW Supreme Court to Hear COVID-19 Fines Test Case
The COVID-19 fines test case that was filed in the NSW Supreme Court in July this year will be heard next week on Tuesday, 29 November 2022.
Redfern Legal Centre is representing three plaintiffs who received a COVID-19 fine of between $1000 and $3000. One plaintiff, Mr Rohan Pank, had his fine withdrawn by Revenue NSW on the day the case was lodged. The state has agreed to pay Mr Pank’s costs.
Two plaintiff’s fines remain on foot, Mr Beame and Mrs Els, and their matters will be considered by the Court. The Court will determine whether the fines meet the legislative requirements under the Fines Act 1996 (NSW).
The administrative law case, brought against the NSW Police Commissioner and the Commissioner of Fines Administration, will argue that the fines are not valid because the penalty notices do not provide enough detail of the alleged offence, as required under the Act.
Samantha Lee, acting principal solicitor at Redfern Legal Centre, who is the instructing solicitor in the case, said: “This case is about more than just two peoples’ fines. It is about the need to properly adhere to the rule of law, even during a pandemic.”
“We know from figures obtained by Redfern Legal Centre from Revenue NSW and Police NSW, that COVID-19 fines were disproportionately issued to those living in low socio-economic areas of NSW. We also know from our experience advising clients that many fines were issued not in accordance with the law. This Supreme Court challenge could have broad implications for all fines issued pursuant to the public health orders during the pandemic, in particular those that did not clearly refer to the relevant offence on the penalty notice.”
The matter will be heard at the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday 29 November at 9 am.
For further information contact Savannah Michie (Communications Assistant): 0435330130 | firstname.lastname@example.org.
The heavy force used against the 78-year-old has disturbed many, and on Wednesday about 100 people protested outside Surry Hills police station, calling for the officers involved to be suspended and for an independent investigation.