The Crime of Criminalising Everyday Life: The Rule of Law Discarded in Victoria’s COVID Response

The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) published this week a groundbreaking research paper by Professor Mirko Bagaric on the impact of Australia's failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Titled, The Crime of Criminalising Everyday Life: The Rule of Law Discarded in Victoria’s COVID Response, the report found;

  • More than 50,000 normally law-abiding Victorians were subject to criminal sanctions for breaches of COVID restrictions.
  • The criminalisation of the public health response was unworkable as most fines remain unpaid today.
  • Australia must now assess the criminalisation of daily life, the massive cost incurred, and the future and lasting effects of COVID lockdowns on health, education, and society.
  • It is the worst abuse of criminal law in a democracy in recent memory.
  • Every Australian deserves a full and complete account of what went on during the pandemic. A joint Royal Commission that includes the Commonwealth and State Governments to shed light on what went on behind closed doors and a commitment from all political participants that this never happens again

Dr Mirko Bagaric is the Dean of Law at Swinburne Law School at the Swinburne University of Technology, and an internationally renowned expert in legal rights, criminal justice, and punishment and sentencing reform. Dr Bagaric is the author or co-author of over 30 books and 150 articles in leading Australian and international journals, and engages extensively with the community on a range of socially relevant and important legal topics.



20 pages.


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