A group of Queensland police officers and health workers fighting their employers’ Covid-19 vaccine mandates have scored another legal win in the Court of Appeal.
Both groups will still need to go to a three-day trial in the Supreme Court in February next year, with the appeal only concerned with a technical question about the scope of the court’s jurisdiction to hear the case.
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll (pictured) had earlier said officers needed to get the jab or risk being suspended.
The groups of police officers and health workers took legal action against Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll and the Director-General of Queensland Health, Dr John Wakefield, opposing their bosses’ direction for staff to get the jab.
They claimed the move breached the rules of natural justice or were an “improper exercise of power”.
In late October, Supreme Court Justice Jean Dalton struck out parts of their application, saying they fell within the bounds of an industrial relations dispute.
But Court of Appeal Justices Walter Sofronoff, Philip Morrison and Philip McMurdo on Tuesday overturned the original decision.
The group of police officers and health workers say their requirements to get the Covid-19 jab breaches natural justice and may be an “improper” exercise of power.
Justice Sofronoff said the group’s appeal was not concerned with the direction itself but of the scope of the jurisdiction under the Judicial Review Act.
Justice McMurdo said Justice Dalton erred in concluding the Supreme Court did not have jurisdiction to determine their applications upon the grounds struck out.
“There is no warrant for interpreting that word in the way for which the respondents contend,” Justice McMurdo said.
“What, at first blush, might seem a convenient forum for the determination of the entirety of a controversy between an employer and employee is, on a closer examination, not so.”