Vaxatious Litigant and Australian Emergency Law

For those interested in following the effect of pseudolaw in relation to the Covid-19 Pandemic responses, by anti-vaccine, anti-lockdown, anti-mask (etc) activists, and the associated legal challenges which remain ongoing, I highly recommend you follow, more than any other source, the social media accounts “Vaxatious Litigant“. They have accounts on both Facebook and Twitter, where they painstakingly dissect each of the cases as they are heard, with what I consider to be the finest commentary available online in this space.

There is no shortage of what is now called “cookerwatchers” on social media, who’s main objective seems to be to mock, scorn and ridicule those that have made choices to reject vaccination, follow pseudolaw motifs, and a variety of other objectives and causes. I don’t consider that these individuals and groups assist in responding competently to the current phenomena, but rather produce content for the shallow amusement of followers inside their own echo chamber. Even the use of the derogatory pejorative “cooker” is itself antithetical to any type of constructive dialogue that may alter the perceptions of those so influenced, but in fact reinforces the beliefs. It appears these people feel justified in treating other human beings with contempt, that the objects of their observance are somewhat less than human, deserving of public humiliation, which in my mind brings into question the type of personality issues they themselves suffer from. Sadly, even media outlets such as Newscorp have adopted this use of degrading nomenclature and bullying tactics as a strategy.

I believe it is important to distinguish between the person and the ideology that they adhere to, to play the ball, and not the man so to speak, refrain from the use of logical fallacies such as ad hominem, and just deal patiently and constructively with the arguments or positions they hold. “Vaxatious Litigant” performs this action in the best way possible, by concentrating on legal challenges, and providing correct information, forgoing the ridicule that is perpetuated by these other numerous accounts.

I had previously collated and analysed the main pandemic related challenges that contained various pseudolaw aspects in the Supreme and High Courts, such as Gerner v Victoria [2020] HCA 48, Palmer v Western Australia [2021] HCA 5, Kassam v Hazzard; Henry v Hazzard [2021] NSWSC 1320, Cotterill v Romanes [2021] VSC 498, Larter v Hazzard (No 2) [2021] NSWSC 1451, Can v State of New South Wales [2021] NSWSC 1480, and Latai Smith v Sydney Night Patrol & Inquiry Co Pty Ltd trading as Certis Security Australia [2022] FWC 1462, outlined the main pseudolaw motifs perpetuated during the pandemic, in an article “Pandemic arguments“, and also wrote on several promoters of this genre such as Solihin Millin, the website Winning Victoria Back, and covered a prominant attempt at a private prosecution in “Daniel Andrews charged with Treason!” I also collected a hundred or so vaccine cases in the Fair Work Commission, Industrial Relations Commision and other Tribunals, in an article “The Pandemic Cases“, but this article is presently out of date, with my preoccupation with more directly related pseudolaw matters. “Vaxatious Litigant” competently replaces any input or commentary that I might have continued, as this is a huge area of law with the amount of consistent cases, that requires specialised attention.

Another excellent source to follow in relation to medicine and law related matters, is the professional blog by Dr Michael Eburn PhD, called “Australian Emergency Law“.

Michael Eburn is an Australian Lawyer, and formerly an Associate Professor at the ANU College of Law, the Australian National University, Canberra and before that an Associate Lecturer, Lecturer then Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, the University of New England, Armidale. He was the chief investigator on a Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC project looking at the Policies, Institutions and Governance of Natural Hazards, and a researcher on the Bushfire CRC funded project Mainstreaming Fire and Emergency Management across Legal and Policy Sectors; Joint Research and Policy Learning. He is also the author of Emergency Law: Rights, liabilities and duties of emergency workers and volunteers (1st ed 1999, 2nd ed 2005, 3rd ed 2009, 4th ed 2013 The Federation Press, Sydney) the only book on the subject of emergency law in Australia, and has written numerous articles and given conference papers and inservice training on legal issues affecting the emergency services.

Michael Eburn’s blog discusses legal issues affecting the emergency services in Australia, reports changes to the law such as new legislation and relevant new court cases. You can also follow “Australian Emergency Law” on Facebook and on Twitter.