Human rights

Johnston v Carroll [2024] QSC 2

Many jurisdictions require their statutes to be interpreted in a way that is compatible with human rights6.  This case is about whether directions to police and ambulance workers in Queensland to be COVID vaccinated were invalid for breaching human rights.  It was held that, while the directions were unlawful, they were not invalid7.  Orders were made restraining disciplinary action against the workers.

This case discusses the human rights asserted and how s 48 of the Human Rights Act 2019 operates.  It only applies where more than one interpretation is available.  It does not permit ‘judicial rewriting’ of other provisions – Momcilovic [2011] HCA 34 [50].

This principle is from Episode 107 of interpretation NOW!


6 Pearce 10th ed [5.67-5.71], Herzfeld & Prince 2nd ed [10.300-10.350].

7 Project Blue Sky [1998] HCA 28 [100] applied.