Challenging Pandemic Law: From Vaccine Mandates to Judicial Review of Vaccine Approvals

J Law Med. 2024 Jun;31(2):225-243.


Over recent years, dozens of legal challenges have been instituted in response to government action during the COVID-19 pandemic. While public health orders have been challenged on several grounds, few cases have succeeded. Fewer cases still have called into question decisions made by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to approve the COVID-19 vaccines. This section provides a brief update on one recent, partially successful COVID-19 health directions case before examining two applications in the Federal Court of Australia seeking judicial review of the TGA's approval of the COVID-19 vaccines. The section argues that, while both TGA applications were dismissed for lack of standing, they illustrate how and why third parties will ordinarily not be entitled to challenge administrative decisions about therapeutic goods.

Keywords: COVID-19 vaccines; gene technologies; genetically modified organism; medical practitioners; purposivism; therapeutic goods; vaccine mandates.

Publication types

  • Legal Case

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • COVID-19 Vaccines*
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Drug Approval* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Mandatory Vaccination
  • Pandemics* / prevention & control
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • COVID-19 Vaccines