A Supreme Court judgment could invalidate all Covid-19 fines after a state’s revenue department backed down on thousands of penalty notices.
Blake Antrobus reporting in NCA NewsWire.
All Covid-19 fines dished out by Revenue NSW could be found invalid following a landmark decision published by the Supreme Court.
Last November the NSW Supreme Court found two specific Covid-19 fines – issued for failing to comply with public health directions – were invalid.
The decision resulted in 33,121 fines being withdrawn.
Redfern Legal Centre (RLC), which filed the test case in July 2022, said the newly published reasons for the judgment called the remaining 29,017 fines into “disrepute” and urged the government to withdraw them.
“This case is not about Covid-19 or about public health orders,” RLC solicitor Samantha Lee said.
It is about ensuring the rule of law is adhered to even in a time of crisis.
RLC had argued the two specific fines were invalid under section 20 of the Fines Act 1996 (NSW) because they lacked sufficient detail about the alleged offence.
“The government must now do the right thing and withdraw all Covid-19 fines that were issued, including withdrawing those offences for which individuals elected to take to court, any Work and Development Orders and reimburse fines already paid,” Lee said.