To Prime Minister Scott Morrison,

We are concerned with ensuring greater parliamentary scrutiny and safeguarding democratic processes in relation to the government’s response to COVID-19.

Normal Parliamentary sittings have been adjourned until August. Individual Ministers have been given the power to allocate multi-billion dollar discretionary funds and write the rules for major policy response programs.

This is an undemocratic and unprecedented response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Parliamentary democracies around the world are continuing to meet, including through virtual means in the UK and Brazil.

Parliament must resume as soon as possible to give proper scrutiny to government decision making. The COVID-19 crisis calls for greater spending of public money and increased government intervention and control. MPs are elected to represent the people in these important decisions and scrutinise government legislation. Parliamentary democracy is needed now more than ever.

We urge you to resume normal Parliamentary sittings immediately.


The Hon. Mary Gaudron QC                                The Hon. Michael Barker QC

The Hon. Tony Fitzgerald AC QC                        The Hon. Stephen Charles AO QC

The Hon. David Ipp AO QC                                  The Hon. Paul Stein AM QC

The Hon. Anthony Whealy QC                            Michael Keating AC

Nicholas Cowdery AO QC                                    Geoffrey Watson SC

Professor Joo Cheong Tham