Media statement from Richard Harvey, President, Law Society of NSW 

The Law Society of NSW appreciates the extraordinary circumstances under which the NSW Government needs to introduce a broad range of public health and emergency response powers for responding to public health emergencies during the COVID-19 situation.

The NSW Government passed the COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 overnight.

“These are unprecedented times and it’s vital that the community has confidence that the wheels of justice are kept moving, that courts continue to operate and that access to justice is not denied,” President of the Law Society of NSW, Richard Harvey, said.

“We therefore appreciate the intention of the legislative changes relating to the justice system and acknowledge that the Government has worked to a tight timeframe in anticipation of introducing these amendments to Parliament.  

 “Clearly, there are some extraordinary powers in this package that would not be appropriate in the ordinary course of events, but we have made a number of technical recommendations in relation to the legislation, to try and preserve basic legal safeguards. 

 “We will continue to work with the Government to ensure that these extraordinary powers are used appropriately, and only where absolutely necessary to secure the continued safe operation of the justice system and ensure that the operation of the rule of law continues to be observed.”

Sue Finn | Media and Public Relations Manager
The Law Society of New South Wales
T: +61 2 9926 0288 | M: +61 413 440 699 | E: