Public Health and Public Order: Emergency Powers and the COVID-19 Pandemic Response

On 16 March 2020, a state of emergency was declared in Victoria and emergency legal powers were activated to protect the health of the Victorian public. Starting with a single rule prohibiting a gathering of more than 500 people, those emergency legal powers restricted life in Victoria more and more in the weeks that followed.

This presentation will discuss the justifications for using the emergency powers in the COVID-19 pandemic response from two perspectives: public health and public order. From five people at a wedding, 10 people at a funeral, four square metres per person and four reasons to leave home, what is the basis for these rules and the way that they are enforced?

Dr Michael Taylor is a barrister at the Victorian Bar specialising in public health and biosecurity law.

Presented by Victorian Bar


This is a recording of a live Law Week webinar that was held on 20 May 2020.

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