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The Forum > General Discussion > Has Our Constitution Been Violated?

Has Our Constitution Been Violated?

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Some people are still insisting that the government had no power to order people to stay at home, or to stop them travelling around the country. It is believed that the government does have the power to restrict public gatherings - which they DID NOT DO in the case of recent racially motivated street demonstrations - but the lockdown and travel restrictions contravene the Constitution.

While all efforts should now be directed at repairing the economy and the wrecked lives of of all those people who lost their jobs due to actions of the politicians and elites who lied about their own 'in it togetherness', there must be an investigation and a price to pay for anyone who has violated our Constitution - and well before the next emergency occurs.
Posted by ttbn, Sunday, 21 June 2020 10:58:48 AM
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Ttbn,

Which section of the Constitution do you mean ? 52 ? Restrictions. on trade ?

Joe
Posted by loudmouth2, Sunday, 21 June 2020 3:12:56 PM
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According to civil liberties advocates the broad
new powers given to the federal and state
governments to limit the movement of Australians
during the coronavirus pandemic are appropriate
but should remain limited for the duration of the
crisis only.

The appears to be such a thing as the Bio-Security Act.
This empowers the health minister Greg Hunt to issue
"any direction to any person"and "determine any
requirement "necessary to prevent the spread of
coronavirus in Australia, to another country, or to
implement a World Health Organisation recommendation.

The two biggest changes to Australian's rights are -
the states'declarations of emergency and the
declaration of a human bio-security emergency under
the Bio-Security Act.

Apparently the limit on this power is that any direction
to a state or territory official must be in agreement with
the state or territory and the declaration is limited to
3 months, although we're told it can be extended.

Those who fail to comply with the direction can face up to
$63,000 in fines or 5 years in jail.

The power that now resides in the Federal Health Minister
shows the gravity of the situation. Which we're told is akin
to times of war - where extraordinary powers are vested
but with a clear eye to the fact that they should last as
is necessary to deal with the emergency.

This information was obtained from the web for anyone who
wants to Google it.
Posted by Foxy, Sunday, 21 June 2020 4:59:53 PM
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Dear loudmouth2,

Some of the nutters are flagging Section 117.

"A subject of the Queen, resident in any State, shall not be subject in any other State to any disability or discrimination which would not be equally applicable to him if he were a subject of the Queen resident in such other State."

However our courts have been quite clear "that there can be valid exceptions to these prohibitions, where it is necessary to protect the people of a state from the risk of injury from inbound goods, animals, and people."
Posted by SteeleRedux, Sunday, 21 June 2020 5:00:53 PM
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People from another state are not prevented from crossing borders because they live in a another state, but because they are crossing from one state to another.

Eg: I'm a resident of Queensland. If I was to go to Victoria then back to Queensland, I would be prevented from crossing back into Queensland. So the border control laws apply exactly the same whether I'm a resident of Queensland or Victoria. That is, they don't discriminate on whether I'm a Queenslander or not.

Anyway, even if this was a problem the solution is trivial. All they have to do is move the exclusion crossing point a meter down the road. Because now you are crossing from one part of a state over a demarcation line within the same state. In other words, you would be allowed to freely cross the state border but not cross internal state zones.

Also, regarding the question of the abuse of civil liberties. We don't have an enacted bill of rights in Australia. There are very few actual rights specifically granted in the federal constitution. Most of our "constitutional rights" have been effectively created by the judicial system. Besides the judicial systems' creation by interpretation of rights, State Governments (in respect of the federal constitution) have vast amounts of power to enact laws as long as it doesn't contravene an international agreement that the federal government has signed.
Posted by thinkabit, Sunday, 21 June 2020 7:03:53 PM
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Dear Ttbn,

«Some people are still insisting that the government had no power to order people to stay at home, or to stop them travelling around the country.»

But they DID order, that's a well-known fact, so how can they say otherwise?

«It is believed that the government does have the power to restrict public gatherings»

Well indeed, in most cases they successfully restricted public gatherings, so obviously they had that power almost completely.

«but the lockdown and travel restrictions contravene the Constitution.»

OK, but why would that be of any concern to the ordinary person in the street?
Posted by Yuyutsu, Sunday, 21 June 2020 9:49:42 PM
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Yuyutsu,

It might not be of interest to the ordinary man in the street; in fact, I'm pretty sure it is of no interest to him. And therein lies the the problem. Apathy leads to tyranny. The extraordinary abuse of power during the China virus is just the beginning.
Posted by ttbn, Sunday, 21 June 2020 11:22:19 PM
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Dear Ttbn,

Why do you call this "apathy"?
I rather use the terms of the Serenity Prayer:

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenity_Prayer

It is similarly clear that it is time now for the people of Hong Kong to leave, while they can.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Monday, 22 June 2020 8:21:27 AM
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I'll leave the Serenity Prayer to AA members. Australia needs more than prayers to save it.
Posted by ttbn, Monday, 22 June 2020 9:47:30 AM
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"Never before has Australia, even in wartime, been governed by a grand coalition of parties and governments, underwritten by big business and with the mainstream nomedia tranquilised". (Constitutional lawyer, Professor David Flint).

Smartarse questions about what I think to pour scorn on a legitimate proposition have no place here. What needs to be thrashed out before the next crisis is: has the government acted unconstitutionally, as is suggested by a noted Constitutional lawyer, and what needs to be done to avoid further cures that are worse than the complaint. Serious investigations into the economy/freedoms curtailment inflicted by the government in its panic stricken response to the China virus are needed.

There should have been no cases of the China virus in Australia, given that we are an island. The government did not seal our borders soon enough, and when they finally did, they exacted a massive cost on the population with a 'save the lives of as many people as possible at any cost' scatter gun action. And, the very few people who died were old timers who would have died of some old age condition, months, weeks or even days later than they did. And, we can't even be sure that people who survived, reportedly diagnosed with the virus, had it in the first place - given the sorts of 'experts' we are cursed with; those 'experts' whose gross exaggerations have been swept under the carpet.

The 'national cabinet', Flint believes, was designed to create a consensus; not hard, given that there is very little difference between the Coalition and Labor.

Margaret Thatcher's definition of consensus was: "the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved". And just how well that describes the attitude of our government and our opposition these days
Posted by ttbn, Monday, 22 June 2020 11:29:50 AM
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Ttbn,

"Panic-stricken response" ? 102 deaths, vs the US's 120,000 so far ? Well, it worked, didn't it ? Prompt action in one case, and (I'm betting) far quicker economic recovery - sloppy and incompetent response in the other case, forty 9/11s and counting, no end in sight except disaster.

Unless,of course, you're advocating that we SHOULD have had more than 100,000 deaths, just to save a few jobs for a few months ?

Thank god for this government - and for all of the State/Territory governments as well. There's more sense in the little fingers of each of those leaders than in the entire Trumpf clan and half of the idiot governors in the US.

Joe
Posted by loudmouth2, Monday, 22 June 2020 11:37:53 AM
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Joe,

There is nothing to be gained by comparing us with America or Europe. We should have had zero cases; would have had if Morrison had acted earlier. And Morrison must take the blame as he is a one man band. He has stepped away from cabinet government even more than Turnbull did. Morrison is an aspiring dictator, and excusing him just because someone or some people who might be worse but have nothing to do with Australia does not excuse him. Nor does saying that he and the Coalition should be excused or voted for just because they are not 'quite as bad as Labor'.
Posted by ttbn, Monday, 22 June 2020 12:52:15 PM
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Why are we questioning whether our Constitution has
been violated?

What's more important - saving lives or supposedly
violating our Constitution?

We need people to obey the laws in order to stop the
spread of COVID-19.

So taking action with laws that
are fair, necessary and have been properly and
democratically scrutinised is a key element in dealing
with the pandemic.

Rather than looking at the rule of law as a burden on the
ability of the government to deal with the pandemic, we
should be seeing it as a way of maintaining public
confidence in the goverment and the compliance with the
laws as the only way that the pandemic will be contained.

It's not brain surgery. But it is a means of saving lives.
Posted by Foxy, Monday, 22 June 2020 1:55:35 PM
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Joe,

You want to compare us with other countries. How about Vietnam: 323 cases, NO deaths. NO lockdown.
Posted by ttbn, Monday, 22 June 2020 2:20:08 PM
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Ttbn,

Wow, thanks - just a bit better than the US with 120,000 deaths so far.

What do you think that Vietnam is doing right that the US is doing so dreadfully wrong ? Wearing masks ? Social distancing ? Going out only when it's really necessary ? i.e. a de facto lock-down ? Are they out of it already ?

So what can the US learn from Vietnam before another 120,000 die needlessly ?

Cheers,

Joe
Posted by loudmouth2, Monday, 22 June 2020 2:26:42 PM
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The crux of the matter is that in NSW & Victoria I believe a
"State of Emergency" has been declared.
When applied the Minister in charge of emergencies and the senior
police officer in any district is god.
He says jump you say how high.
There are no exceptions. If he says stay in your house you stay.
If not, you will be arrested.
There was one occasion where I had to threaten someone that if they
did not do as I requested I would take it to the Police commander
and he would send someone around to convince them.
They did as requested.
A State of Emergency does have powers that overide the constitution
and the normal legal protections.
Posted by Bazz, Monday, 22 June 2020 2:39:48 PM
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Bazz: "A State of Emergency does have powers that overide the constitution and the normal legal protections."

Nothing overrides the National Constitution!

A state can only enact laws consistent with the constitution, none-the-less the states have incredibly vast powers. So much power that they can create laws that many would say/feel are very oppressive and harsh.

For example, they could theoretically pass a law that punishes minor car speeding with life imprisonment. The federal constitution allows this since it leaves the regulation of roads to the states (provided that the Federal Government hasn't signed an international treaty that it would contravene).
Posted by thinkabit, Monday, 22 June 2020 6:30:33 PM
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Bazz,

Are you constitutional lawyer? David David Flint is, and tells a different story.
Posted by ttbn, Monday, 22 June 2020 7:58:35 PM
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Perhaps Mr Flynn forgot about the Bio-Security Act?

I mentioned it on page 1, in my post.

Look into it.
Posted by Foxy, Monday, 22 June 2020 8:11:05 PM
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Sorry for the typo. I meant to say Mr Flint.
Posted by Foxy, Monday, 22 June 2020 8:12:03 PM
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Hmmm ok then perhaps there is a clause in the constitution to deal with
matters of security. The other point is the Emergency Services Acts are
state acts. Note the hassle about Scot Morrison not being able to bring
in the troops during the bushfires ?
Nevertheless disobey an order by an emergency service officier and you
will be arrested.
Posted by Bazz, Monday, 22 June 2020 9:51:37 PM
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Everyone, and particularly government, is subject to the law.

Citizens may do anything not prohibited by law or which does not infringe the rights of others.

Government may not do anything save that which the law authorises it to do.

On all points, the National Cabinet failed and failed dismally.
Posted by ttbn, Tuesday, 23 June 2020 2:06:25 PM
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Hi Bazz,

The government appears to have powers that we ordinary
civilians know little about.

There are going to be two trials that will be held
in secret. Trials of whistle-blowers. And who knows
what will happen there.

David McBride, Witness K, and his lawyer 0 Bernard Collaery.

They appear to be part of a global war on journalists
and whistle-blowers which should concern us all.
Posted by Foxy, Tuesday, 23 June 2020 4:21:03 PM
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Foxy, I think there is a provision for holding trial in camera when
the evidence covers security information of top secret classification.
It is one of those things where everybody jumps up and down screaming
and then when all revealed would say, "Why did you let that out ?".
Posted by Bazz, Tuesday, 23 June 2020 4:37:49 PM
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Bazz,

I don't know enough about these particular cases
to be able to comment. I do know that the people
involved from David McBride to Bernard Collaery
seem like decent people. They're backgrounds are
beyond reproach.

Of course it will be up to the judge or judges
involved in what is made public. We are a democracy
though - and the government must be careful in the
way it is perceived to behave.

We have a right to question things as ttbn has pointed out.
Posted by Foxy, Tuesday, 23 June 2020 4:46:23 PM
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Dear Ttbn,

«Everyone, and particularly government, is subject to the law.»

Wow, such naivety!
I would usually expect such kind of statements from Foxy, who actually pleasantly surprises me here with her matured and balanced responses, yet not from anyone over 5 years old: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VucczIg98Gw

«Government may not do anything save that which the law authorises it to do.»

Government may do whatsoever pleasures them because they have the guns, the dogs, the helicopters, the prisons, the surveillance, the communication controls and the deep-seated fear of ordinary good citizens. Nothing limits them apart from the laws of nature and the laws of God.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Tuesday, 23 June 2020 8:14:00 PM
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Yuyutsu,

You really are a weirdo.
Posted by ttbn, Wednesday, 24 June 2020 9:33:45 AM
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