Australia’s vaccine mandates: a violation of international law?

Gabriël A Moens AM and Augusto Zimmermann

The Covid-19 Directions adopted by Australia’s governments have the effect of violating the rule of law when they excessively interfere with the life, liberty, and property of the citizen. These governments are exercising emergency powers to impose extra-constitutional measures that undermine the principles of equality before the law and the right of citizens to object to any form of medical treatment, including vaccine mandates. These mandates are imposed either directly, by coercive measures, or indirectly, by extending benefits only to fully vaccinated people.

This imposition is a gross violation of the rule of law, the ultimate goal of which is to provide “an umbrella concept for a number of legal and institutional instruments to protect citizens against the power of the state”.

First coined by Plato and later refined by Aristotle, the concept of the rule of law was further elaborated by St Thomas Aquinas, who stated: “Once the government is established, the government of the kingdom must be so arranged that opportunity to tyrannize be removed. At the same time, his power should be so tempered that he cannot easily fall into tyranny”.

According to the American legal philosopher, Charles Rice, who taught at the University of Notre Dame:

Aquinas’ analysis is a prescription for limited government, providing a rational basis on which to affirm that there are limits to what the state can rightly do. His insistence that the power of the human law be limited implies a right of the person not to be subjected to an unjust law.