In this landmark case, Chrisopoulidis & Associates represented the plaintiff, Mr Shearer (an employee of Victoria Police). The defendant in this matter, the Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police was represented by Clayton Utz.

Melbourne, Australia April 24, 2017: Tripple zero numbers and blue and white sign on a police car

On Friday 19 April 2024, the Supreme Court of Victoria ruled in favour of the plaintiff.

The plaintiff was charged with a breach of discipline for failing to comply with the vaccination requirements of the Victoria Police COVID-19 Manual (‘VPM’). The charge against him was found proven by the internal disciplinary inquiry officer and the plaintiff was as a result, reprimanded, amongst other things.

The question raised by the plaintiff’s case was whether the requirements of Victoria Police (VPM), to provide evidence of vaccination status by a certain date, required the plaintiff to have received a dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The plaintiff was successful in establishing that the denial of procedural fairness meets the threshold of materiality with the consequence that Victoria Police’s determination was, invalid.

The plaintiff’s failure to receive any dose of COVID-19 vaccine did not constitute a breach of the VPM. Consequently, Victoria Police did not have power to reprimand the plaintiff for a breach of discipline.

Profoundly, it was found by the Supreme Court that, the plaintiff was denied procedural fairness during this process.

First, the Charge did not provide the plaintiff with adequate notice of the alleged breach of the VPM. Second, Victoria Police failed to disclose to the plaintiff issues which were critical to the decision to find the Charge proven.

The judgment states that, “In light of these findings it is unnecessary to address the other grounds upon which the plaintiff challenges the DIO’s (Victoria Police) decision to find the Charge proven and to reprimand him.”.

The Decision of the Victoria Police inquiry officer has been quashed.

This is a significant win for the plaintiff and for so many more individuals in Victoria and across Australia, who were unfairly and unjustly treated during one of the most challenging times in our history.

The lives of these employees and their families, impacted by such organisational policies and decisions, undoubtably resulted in lifelong effects. This case not only reaffirms our faith in the justice system, it reflects the courageous and tenacious character it takes to stand up for your rights in pursuing justice.

It has been our honour to represent the plaintiff in this matter.

The judgment, now published can be found at:

https://lnkd.in/gqYt8MEP

For more information or should you wish to discuss a matter further, please contact our office at info@icaalaw.com.au or 03) 9842 4474.

Irene Chrisopoulidis, Principal Lawyer