RLC in the Media: NSW Police powers challenged

The Australian Criminal and Family Lawyers (ACFL) is challenging several New South Wales Police powers under the COVID-19 public health orders in the Supreme Court.

Adam Trumper reports for Green Left.

Meanwhile, the Aboriginal Legal Service ACT/NSW, Redfern Legal Centre, Community Legal Centres NSW and Public Interest Advocacy Service published an open letter on September 16 calling on the NSW government to revoke wrongly issued COVID-19 fines, reduce fines and invest in non-punitive approaches.

The letter has been endorsed by more than 100 prominent lawyers, academics and politicians.

It said Revenue NSW reported that 10,232 fines totalling $9,402,500 had been issued for breaches of COVID-19 rules between March last year and July. Police issued $7,839,500 of these, with a total of $8,922,500 given to individuals. In July, 6815 fines were handed out – more than 3 times the total amount for the last financial year.

It said NSW Police has incorrectly given many people fines for thousands of dollars when they were taking lawful outdoor recreation activities, such as sitting in a park or car alone, eating in an outdoor public space alone, or sitting in a park with members of their household.

Read the full article here(Green Left, 4 October 2021)