Here is the letter from the retired judges and leading QCs which calls Andrews’ proposed new powers “unprecedented, excessive and open to abuse”.

A powerful group of retired judges and leading QCs has written to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews expressing alarm over proposed laws giving designated officers power to arrest anyone suspected of breaching COVID-19 rules.

The COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) and Other Acts Amendment Bill passed the lower house of Victoria’s Parliament on Friday, but the retired judges and QCs warn it would be “unprecedented, excessive and open to abuse”.

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