Three websites related to Covid-19 laws, policing and human rights in Australia and internationally.
COVID Law Monitor Project: Australia
COVID-19 measures have been introduced, amended and rolled back rapidly across Australia making it difficult to keep track. COVID-19 Law Monitor tracks the powers used to ease restrictions in different stages across Australian jurisdictions.
COVID-19 Law Monitor, a project of Grata Fund and Hall & Wilcox, is a resource for journalists and civil society to track COVID-19 measures introduced by governments that impacts on civil liberties and freedoms.
The website tracks Commonwealth, state and territory measures that impact civil liberties including:
- New or amended legislation.
- Determinations and orders.
- Use of emergency powers.
Click through to find COVID measures by state or territory:
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
COVID-19 measures have curtailed the freedoms and rights of people living in Australia, and while extraordinary measures are necessary they must be proportionate, time-limited and for the legitimate purpose of public health to protect public trust. Find out more about the civil liberties and human rights impacted here.
COVID Policing: Australia
Have you been stopped by police or had any interaction with police since the new public health rules were introduced in your area? Do you feel you have been treated unfairly? Do you know of an incident that concerns you?
The COVID Policing project aims to collect incidents, reports and examples from members of the public for monitoring, legal advocacy and reporting. Your accounts, reports and testimony can help ensure that policing is fair and aligned with the public health restrictions during the crisis.
This project is not about looking for loopholes. It is vital that we all observe public health restrictions and help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. However, many legal and human rights advocates are deeply concerned about how police will enforce these new public health laws. The expansion of police authority – no matter how justified by circumstances – can expand the opportunities for abuse and unjust violation of rights. It could lead to harms, particularly for individuals and communities who already experience a high level of discriminatory policing.
We need to ensure police are using their new powers responsibly, fairly, and without bias and prejudice. This site will help us monitor the everyday-impact of new policing powers, and whether they are being used responsibly.
COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker: International
The coronavirus is a significant threat to public health; it does not need to be a significant threat to civic freedom.
This COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker monitors government responses to the pandemic that affect civic freedoms and human rights, focusing on emergency laws. The regularly updated database can be searched by country, issues (Access to Information; Assembly; Association; Discrimination; Disinformation; Elections; Emergency; Expression; Internet Access; Militarization; Movement; Press Freedom; Privacy; Surveillance), type (Law; Order; Regulation; Policy; Practice) and date.
In response to the pandemic, governments around the world have acted with significant implications for fundamental freedoms and civic space. During this time, we must remember that responses to public health threats are stronger and more effective when they respect human rights.
- Coronavirus infections_COVID 19 (Disease)
- Human rights
- Law enforcement - Police conduct and attitudes
- Legal rights