Australia (9news)

Queensland lawyers say many $1300 coronavirus fines could fall over in court

By July 4, 2020 No Comments
Strict public health directions that were rushed through are ambiguous and risk falling over in a courtroom, according to a leading Queensland criminal lawyer.
Nichola Borellini’s afternoon run through Kangaroo Point proved costly after she stopped for 10 minutes watching refugees who were protesting silently on their balconies.
Ms Borellini said she would be fighting the fine.(Nine)
“No. Definitely will not be paying the fine. What’s written in the law is super flimsy, it’s ambiguous,” she told 9News.
Lawyers agree and warn fines for breaching coronavirus restrictions may not stack up in court.
“When there is ambiguity in the law there is always a real risk of injustices occurring and prosecutions failing,” defence solicitor Calvin Gnech said.
He said the major problem was confusion among the public and a lack of clarity around some of the restrictions.
“The public health direction needs to be modified particularly around the home confinement what is essential travel and what is exercise,” he said.
Fifty-seven new fines have been handed out in the last 24 hours up until midnight.
It brings the total number of infringements to 884 in just three weeks.
Among those fined are a woman on the northside who had 13 people at her house.
A Logan man who was out and about, for the purpose of shoplifting at the Hyperdome
And a Queensland man who crossed the border into New South Wales for a surf.
Police say every fine will be reviewed twice to see if the right decision was made.
Almost 30 infringements have already been withdrawn but the Police Commissioner says the rest will stack up in court.
Civil libertarians, wary of the precedent, want police to be disclosing all of the reasons why people are being fined.
“They are the most extreme restrictions on Queensland civil liberties probably ever,” Michael Cope from the Council for Civil Liberties said.
“Police need to exercise these powers with great care and great restraint.”
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Nicola is one of the more than 840 people who have been slapped with infringement notices in the last three weeks alone.(Nine)
You can also get up-to-date information from the Federal Government’s Coronavirus Australia app, available on theApp Store,Google Playand theGovernment’s WhatsApp channel.
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