Former Griffith local and Human Rights lawyer, Lucy Geddes says the chances of successful legal action in challenging vaccine mandates in the workplace is low.
A core theme of challenges to public health orders mandates is that the health orders mandating COVID-19 vaccines are an infringement of individual human rights and freedoms.
Interestingly however, unlike many other 'Western' nations like the United States of America, Australia does not currently have a national Bill of Rights.
Ms Geddes said that whilst some states and territories like the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Queensland have Human Rights Charters, NSW currently does not.
"What a lot of people don't realise is that in NSW we don't have any human rights charters in legislation," Ms Geddes said.
"So issues of vaccination and vaccine mandates within workplaces become a matter of discrimination law and not human rights."
According to Ms Geddes, choosing to not receive vaccination for COVID-19 for personal beliefs did not classify as a 'protected attribute' under current discrimination law.
"The only grounds for discrimination would be in specific circumstances, including for those who have a genuine medical exemption," Ms Geddes said.
It is worth noting however that these exemptions only impact a small proportion of the population.
Ms Geddes also noted that it was 'very common' for human rights to come into conflict with each other.
"Freedom of expression and a right to health and community safety are things the court has to consider," Ms Geddes said.
"They must undertake a balancing act and consider whether limiting someone's human rights is reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances."
And whilst legal challenges questioning the validity of public health orders and vaccine requirements for high risk work settings are sure to continue, their legal success is unlikely.
"No one is being forced to have the vaccine, it is still a personal choice and no one is taking away your freedom of choice," Ms Geddes said.
"But there are consequences for those who make that decision."
More information about COVID-19 vaccinations and federal discrimination law can be found here.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: