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Fiji Law Society Annual Convention – Separation of Powers: Preserving Independence and Preventing Overreach

Speech delivered online by Dr Jacoba Brasch QC, Law Council of Australia President, at the Fiji Law Society Annual Convention, 22 October 2021.

"Over the past two years, nations around the world have been responding to a major public health threat. These responses have included restricting the movement of people, forcing businesses to close, and even, in some cases, imposing curfews.

In Australia, Federal, State and Territory legislatures expedited legislative processes and reduced Parliamentary sitting days – which limits the time in which bills can be analysed and debated in Parliament.

At the same time, the Executive invoked emergency powers, and increased the use of Ministerial discretion and delegated legislation. These tools may be justifiable to respond to the challenge at hand, but these practices – and the regulations and decisions made under them – should be subject to appropriate scrutiny and review."

You can read the full speech below.

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