Date: 16 February 2022
Court/Tribunal: Queensland Industrial Relations Commission
Judicial Officer/Tribunal Member: McLennan IC
Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) Sections: ss 13, 17, 48
Rights Considered: N/A
Other Legislation: Industrial Relations Act 2016 (Qld) ss 562B, 562C; Police Service Administration Act 1990 (Qld) s 4.8; Public Service Act 2008 (Qld) s 137; Directive 16/20 Suspension cl 6; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights art 4, art 18
Keywords: Public Law Considerations: COVID-19 Directions

The case concerned an application for an exemption pertaining to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and requirements for police officers in circumstances where the Appellant was suspended without remuneration when her exemption was denied. The Appellant contended that the Respondent’s conclusions with respect to her human rights ‘lack[ed] clarity’: at [23]. However, the Commission considered that the Respondent had taken her human rights into careful consideration in listing several rights that may have been limited and considered why those limitations were reasonable, which included the right to protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (section 17) and the right to privacy and reputation (section 25) in the of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld). The Respondent considered that the importance of maintaining financial accountability and public trust in the Queensland Police Service outweighed the impacts on her rights. The Commission held that it was not unreasonable to refuse the exemption request and suspend the Applicant on this basis.

Visit the judgment: Bloxham v State of Queensland (Queensland Police Service) [2022] QIRC 37