A test cause launched on behalf of three plaintiffs arguing their fines of between A$1,000 to A$3,000 were invalid because the penalty notices did not sufficiently describe the offense.
Lewis Jackson reports for Vancouver Sun
SYDNEY — Australia’s largest state will withdraw or refund tens of thousands of fines issued during the COVID pandemic after government lawyers conceded on Tuesday that some fines were invalid in a test case brought by a legal advocacy group.
Australian states and territories instituted strict restrictions during the pandemic, including limits on travel and movement outside the home. Police in New South Wales, the largest state, could issue fines of A$1,000 ($670.60) to individuals who breached public health orders.
Redfern Legal Centre, a free legal service, launched a test case in July on behalf of three plaintiffs arguing their fines of between A$1,000 to A$3,000, were invalid because the penalty notices did not sufficiently describe the offense.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT. A 14-year-old Indigenous boy who was hospitalised with head injuries after an encounter with NSW Police officers in September is fighting to have an upcoming hearing examining the officers’ conduct open to the public.
The NSW Government’s ‘law and order’ response to the pandemic created significant fines debt and damaged community-police relations in some of the most disadvantaged parts of the state, according to a new UNSW Law School report.