The Role of the Tasmanian Subordinate Legislation Committee During the COVID-19 Emergency
16 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 23, 2020
On 17 March 2020, Tasmania entered a ‘state of emergency’ in response to COVID-19. Parliament stands adjourned, and the executive is regulating the crisis through delegated regulations that significantly limit civil rights and freedoms. Despite assurances Tasmania's Subordinate Legislation Committee would scrutinise executive power throughout the crisis, its role has been limited, due to an overly prescriptive (we argue incorrect) reading of Tasmania's scrutiny framework, which has not been properly reformed in several decades. This is a salient lesson about why constitutional laws require regular reviewed and modernisation, to ensure Parliaments remain supreme even (especially) during crises and emergencies.
Keywords: Parliamentary scrutiny, tasmania, emergency powers, executive power, constitutional law, regulations, delegated legislation, subordinate instruments
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