Australia will return the money from the covid fines to 30.000 citizens

Police in Victoria arrest and mask a protester outside the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, Australia, September 05, 2020/Photo: EPA-EFE/JAMES ROSS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT

The Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, declared invalid more than 31 thousand fines for violating measures against the pandemic. Therefore, the fines will be abolished, and the citizens who have already paid the fine will be refunded, reports Sky News.

Contempt fines were issued for a range of offences, from traveling together to attending public gatherings. They ranged from one thousand to three thousand Australian dollars. Government lawyers eventually conceded that the sentences did not meet legal requirements.

The Commissioner of the Penalties Administration withdrew 31.121 of the total 62.138 penalties. The administration said that the priority was the health and safety of the residents during the pandemic and added that the withdrawal of the fines "does not mean that no offenses were committed".

Redfern Law Center (RLC), which brought the case to the Supreme Court, hailed the decision as a "major victory".

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