Monday 30 May 2022 sees the start of a long-awaited legal challenge to Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll’s vaccine mandate for officers and staff. The case includes police, ambulance officers, and nurses who remain unable to work due to the mandates.

Similar mandates have been thrown out in other jurisdictions such as New Zealand with the Courts finding mandates for police and defence force workers ‘imposed an unjustified limitation on the applicants’ rights, and that the limit was not demonstrably justified [2022] NZHC 291 25 February 2022.

South Australian Police already threw out mandatory vaccination policies just days before a legal challenge in the Supreme Court was set to be heard in April 2022.

Held up as a test case, this challenge is set to determine the fate of thousands of workers and their families across all fields who have suffered from mandatory vaccination directives/policies.

Commissioner Carroll and an unnamed Deputy Commissioner will give evidence and be cross-examined during the expected five-day trial before Justice Glenn Martin in the Supreme Court.

The judge will hear the first three applications seeking to overturn the mandatory vaccination directive, commencing at 10am in Court 5:

  • Shaun Sutton and other application involves 54 Queensland Police Service officers and employees and are represented by Sibley Lawyers
  • Dylan Mark Johnston and other application involves seven other Queensland Police Service employees
  • Bernard Witthahn and others v Chief Executive of Hospital and Health Services and Director General of QLD) application involves 11 ambulance officers and one nurse.

A further nine cases are still to be heard in the Supreme Court.

It is reported that several hundred workers employed by the State are either suspended on full pay or are on special duties because of the mandates.

For these and others who are impacted by mandatory vaccination directives/policies, the mental anguish and harm caused by months of uncertainty are weighing heavily.

These test cases will be seen as a mark of whether justice can still be achieved in Queensland.

One police applicant, Senior Constable Dena Miller explained after she was bullied, coerced, and blackmailed into the first vaccine she experienced and continues to experience ‘repeated flashbacks and reliving my rape [from 24 years prior] as I have had someone do something to my body against my will, once again.’

Understandably, Senior Constable Miller did not want to receive another dose as she had since suffered severe reactions on top of the retraumatising flashbacks. Additional reactions included symptoms similar to suffering a heart attack, high blood pressure, and a diagnosed autonomic nervous system disorder. She stated that ‘every part of my life has been adversely affected because of the Commissioner’s direction.’

Unfortunately, none of these reactions, regardless of the severity and detrimental impact caused are enough to meet the near-impossible criteria for an exemption.

Other applicants in the trial include highly skilled officers and detectives with between 28 and 38 years of dedicated service to Queensland. Applicants also include officers from general duties, road policing, forensic crash investigators, child protection investigations, prosecutions, and a civilian intelligence officer.

At a time when police and the community are calling for more officers, highly skilled and experienced officers and staff are being left without the ability to serve their communities.

The Queensland Human Rights Commissioner has intervened in proceedings, claiming in its publicly unavailable submission that several human rights are relevant to these cases. These include limiting fundamental rights of freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief, rights to property, and rights to privacy and reputation. The mandatory vaccine directive also limits rights to protection from medical treatment without consent.

The Queensland Human Rights Commission has stated that it is concerned about human rights issues connected to the vaccine mandates, advising – We have been calling on government for more than a year to justify its decisions by releasing detailed human rights considerations and the evidence it has relied upon to make these decisions. Without this information available publicly, it is very difficult for the Commissioner, and the broader community, to assess the reasonableness and proportionality of these measures.

The unintended consequences of mandatory vaccination policies have seen trust and confidence in government, police, health, and justice decline.

Increasing numbers of people experiencing adverse reactions from the vaccinations. When reviewing reported adverse events through the Department of Health Therapeutic Goods Administration between 1 January 2021 and 14 May 2022 there were a total of 73,958 reported cases. Of those, 72,301 were a result of a single suspected medicine – Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine. From the 72,301, 351 resulted in death. These adverse events included but were not limited to:

–              Eye pain and loss of sight, excess blood in the vessels of the eye

–              Ulcerative gingivitis

–              Gastrointestinal Haemorrhaging

–              Chest pain, cardiac arrest, tachycardia

–              Nerve injury

–              Lymphadenopathy

–              Pulmonary embolism

–              Cognitive disorders and memory impairment

–              Skin conditions

–              Herpes zoster – known as shingles

–              Acute kidney injury

–              Bell’s palsy

–              Menstrual disorder, heavy menstrual bleeding, ectopic pregnancy, ovarian cyst

–              Death

It is important to note that this does not include an analysis of other covid vaccinations in circulation throughout Queensland and Australia. It is likely many more people have suffered adverse reactions but have not had those recorded.

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