The eastern Australian state of New South Wales on Tuesday scrapped 33, 000 fines released for breaking COVID-19 procedures.
The move comes after the Great Court of Australia’s most populous state ruled that three fines released during the pandemic were too vague within describing offenses.
What do we know about the decision?
State taxes agency Revenue NSW stated that it would withdraw “ fail to comply” penalties, adding that those who had already compensated the fines would be returned. Other sanctions, including car owner license restrictions, will be terminated.
The canceled fines represent just under 1 / 2 of the 62, 138 COVID-related fines issued.
Revenue NSW said that the court ruling had a “ technical basis” and failed to mean that the offenses was not committed.
“ The Commissioner of Penalties Administration is able to independently review or withdraw penalty notices, ” said Revenue NSW in a statement.
“ In this case, he has decided to exercise his statutory power to withdraw two types of Open public Health Order fines, ” it said.
Fines of up to $2, 000
The Redfern Legal Centre, which usually launched the legal problem, praised the Supreme Court’s “ momentous” ruling.
The center was representing three plaintiffs who had been given fines of between 1, 000 ($670, € 650) and 3, 000 ($2, 000, € 1, 950) Australian dollars.
“ This case is about more than just two people’s penalties. It is about the need to properly adhere to the rule of law, even during a pandemic, ” center solicitor Samantha Lee said before the judgment.
“ Today justice has been granted to three people who took around the NSW government regarding the quality of their COVID fines plus won! ” she said.
The organization furthermore argued that fines had been disproportionately issued to people residing in poorer areas.
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