Role of ADF to enforce compliance with COVID rules must be well defined

Calling on the Australian Defence Force to enforce lock down rules in Sydney virus hot spots sets a dangerous precedent so the role of defence force personnel must be clearly defined, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

“The government must urgently explain the nature of the request to the defence force and outline what defence force personnel will be doing to help manage the response to the virus,” said Mr Greg Barns SC, spokesperson for the ALA.

“We understand that public health emergencies require the government to take extraordinary measures but using the military to enforce local laws sets a dangerous precedent.

“Using the defence force to ensure compliance by Australians or to deter civil disobedience is a concerning use of our armed forces.

“The role of any police or enforcement agencies should be help meet the needs of residents so they don’t have to break the rules.”

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