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Qld’s new Emergency law comes with inbuilt rights protection

Qld’s new Emergency law comes with inbuilt rights protection

Queensland is bringing in a COVID-19 Emergency Response Bill 2020.

It allows government courts, businesses and people to operate electronically, even for meetings of the parliament itself.

The new Act is a lesson to Australians everywhere of how important it is to have the protection of a civil liberties, political and human rights protection.

The explanatory memorandum with the Bill says:

“A further safeguard is provided in the Bill to ensure that no extraordinary regulations or statutory instruments enacted under the modification framework are able to be exercised so as to amend or override the Human Rights Act, or any particular provision of the Human Rights Act, thus preserving its important human rights protections.”

Queensland’s human rights law came into operation on 1 January 2020. It is obviously doing its job.

The modification framework in the new ‘Emergency’ Bill is also strictly time limited: the Act and all instruments and regulations made under the Act expire on 31 December 2020.

COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020 (Qld)

Explanatory Memorandum

The policy objectives of this Act are to amend the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 to enable greater use of technology in Parliamentary proceedings; establish a power to make emergency regulations for the residential tenancy and rooming accommodation sectors to address the impacts of the COVID-19 emergency; facilitate implementation of the National Cabinet decision in relation to good faith leasing principles for relevant non-residential leases in Queensland; provide for the establishment of a temporary Queensland Small Business Commissioner to deliver expanded advocacy functions for Queensland small business and administer mediation services in relation to small business tenancy disputes; establish a legislative modification framework of general application allowing legislative requirements to be modified in the areas of attendance at places or meetings, making and associated use of documents and physical presence requirements, statutory time frames, and proceedings of courts and tribunals.

– from the Supreme Court Library Queensland.

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