Law in the time of COVID – Observations on the legislative response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Australian Institute of Administrative Law Queensland Chapter


Law in the time of COVID – Observations on the legislative response to the COVID-19 pandemic

17 August 2023

5.30pm (AEST)

In-person only event
Queensland Law Society Huse, Auditorium 1
179 Ann Street, Brisbane QLD 4000

Presenter:  Stephen Argument, Co-author, “Delegated Legislation in Australia”
Chair: Christopher Schaffer, Barrister at Law

The COVID-19 pandemic created massive challenges for Executive governments, throughout the world. In turn, the legislative response of Executive governments to the pandemic – which included a heavy use of “Henry VIII” clauses and the exclusion of legislation from parliamentary scrutiny – created significant challenges for parliamentary scrutiny committees, throughout Australia. Stephen will explore and assess the legislative response and the parliamentary committees’ response to the challenges.
Stephen Argument is the co-author of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and (new) 6th editions of Professor Dennis Pearce’s text, Delegated Legislation in Australia (LexisNexis). He has been a lawyer, in Canberra, for 40 years. During that time, he has worked for and with parliamentary scrutiny committees for (on and off) over 30 years, including as Secretary to the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills, from 1990 to 1993. Stephen has also worked as a legal adviser for Commonwealth government agencies and for National law firms (providing legal advice to Commonwealth government agencies).
Since 2005, Stephen has worked as the Legal Adviser (Subordinate Legislation) to the ACT Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety (Legislative Scrutiny Role). From January 2013 to June 2018, Stephen also worked as the Legal Adviser to the (then) Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances (now the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation). Between 2007 and 2013, Stephen worked as a legislative drafter with the (Commonwealth) Office of Legislative Drafting and Publishing and, later (when the 2 offices were merged), the Office of Parliamentary Counsel. He retired from that Office in 2013.
Chrstopher Schaffer has been a barrister at the Queensland Bar since May 2021. He is currently a currently a Mediator, Fellow of the Tax Institute, and Committee member of the Queensland Chapter of the Australian Institute of Administrative Law.

Admission is free to members of AIAL and $35 for non-members.

Please book via the Eventbrite link below

Inquiries can be directed to the AIAL (Queensland Chapter) Secretary, Mr Matthew Paterson at

CLE/CPD points are available if this webinar is relevant to your immediate or long term needs in relation to your professional development and practice of the law. Please contact your local law society for further details.