Australia’s legal and political response to the outbreak of COVID-19 has been marked by the formation of a new intergovernmental forum, the National Cabinet, to lead a coordinated national response to the pandemic, and the declaration of successive states of emergency at the federal and state levels activating extraordinary executive powers, including limitations on movement and border closures. Australia’s response has, to date, resulted in the successful curtailment of community transmission of COVID-19 in Australian States and Territories. However, the response to the pandemic has also involved the removal of existing mechanisms of executive accountability, suspensions of Parliament and little parliamentary scrutiny or other oversight of executive action. These democratic deficits present fresh challenges for Australia going forward, particularly as the National Cabinet structure becomes permanent and the states of emergency endure for the foreseeable future.
|Publication status||Published - 22 Feb 2021|