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COVID law pandemic Politics vaccines

Prof. Zimmermann – EMERGENCY POWERS, VACCINE MANDATES, AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE

Lecture delivered on October 9th 2021 as part of the Symposium: COVID Vaccines and Law

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An underlying theme in constitutional theory is the notion that the ‘rule of law’ provides at least part of the solution to the problem of political arbitrariness. Australian governments should act within, and in conformity with our tradition of the ‘rule of law’ and constitutionalism. In this context, as John Locke famously stated: “The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom”. On this view, the rule of law operates as an umbrella concept for legal-institutional mechanisms that protect us against the arbitrary power of the State. Accordingly, this presentation will discuss whether Australians might have a lawful right to resist governmental measures that unquestionably violate their fundamental legal rights, including lockdowns and vaccine mandates.