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Rebekah Barnett
Rebekah Barnetthttps://news.rebekahbarnett.com.au/
Rebekah Barnett reports from Western Australia. She is a volunteer interviewer for Jab Injuries Australia and holds a BA in Communications from the University of Western Australia. Find her work on her Substack page, Dystopian Down Under.

Australian court blocks Covid vaccine challenge

Australian COVID legal opinion

A judge who previously provided legal counsel to Pfizer has blocked a legal challenge over Moderna’s and Pfizer’s mRNA Covid vaccines, stalling efforts to raise the alarm over alleged unregulated genetically modified organisms (GMOs), including high levels of DNA contamination, in the vials.

The dismissal of the lawsuit on the procedural matter of standing is the latest in a string of Covid vaccine-related cases thrown out by Australian courts on narrowly interpreted technicalities, raising questions about the integrity of the courts in arbitrating disputes involving powerful pharmaceutical interests.

Victorian pharmacist and General Practitioner (GP) Dr Julian Fidge filed for an injunction in July of last year to prevent Moderna and Pfizer from distributing their products in Australia because they allegedly contain unapproved genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It is a serious criminal offence under the Gene Technology Act (2000) to “deal with” unapproved GMOs in Australia.

The case alleged that the mRNA vaccines contain GMOs in two forms – the modified RNA wrapped in lipid nanoparticles (LNP-mod-RNA complexes), and fragments of plasmid DNA contamination – for which Pfizer and Moderna never obtained the proper approvals from the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR).

The OGTR denies that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are or contain GMOs, or that the products required a licence from the OGTR before being distributed in Australia, characterising such claims as “misinformation” in a statement released in December of last year.

However, subject to any possible appeal, the case will not be heard in the Courts. In a decision handed down on 1 March, Justice Rofe dismissed Dr Fidge’s application, claiming that he lacks standing due to not being considered an “aggrieved person” under the Act.

But Dr Fidge’s lawyers say the decision “doesn’t pass the pub test.”

“Not only was the case dismissed on a narrowly interpreted technicality, but it is concerning that Justice Rofe has previously provided legal counsel to Pfizer in her private capacity as a barrister before her appointment to the Federal Court,” said instructing solicitor Katie Ashby-Koppens of Sydney law firm PJ O’Brien & Associates after the decision was handed down.

As one of the respondents in the lawsuit brought by Dr Fidge, Pfizer stands to benefit from Justice Rofe’s decision to dismiss the case. Additionally, Dr Fidge has been ordered to pay Pfizer’s and Moderna’s costs.

Federal Court records show that Justice Rofe provided counsel on Pfizer’s legal team on at least four occasions (in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006) before she was appointed as a Federal Court Judge in 2021.

“Out of all the Federal Judges, she didn’t need to be on the matter. It undermines the Courts that Justice Rofe was assigned to this case,” said Ashby-Koppens, who claims that her legal team was not advised of Justice Rofe’s past dealings with Pfizer at any point in the process.

Dr Fidge expressed dismay at Justice Rofe’s decision that he does not have standing as an “aggrieved person” to bring the case against Pfizer and Moderna. In legal filings, Dr Fidge argued that he has standing in professional, personal, private, and public capacities.

“I’ve been vaccinated with these mRNA Covid-19 vaccines, and I’ve vaccinated thousands of patients, including my own children,” Dr Fidge said at the time of filing, in July 2023.

“It’s hard to understand how I am not an aggrieved person, when I’ve not been able to satisfy my legal, moral and ethical obligations to provide informed consent to all my patients that they will receive GMOs in these vaccines,” he stated in response to his case’s dismissal.

Justice Rofe determined that Dr Fidge does not have standing because administration of GMOs is not a “dealing” covered by the Act, and “the applicant must establish that the grievance he will suffer as a result of the breaches is beyond that of an ordinary member of the public and is more than a mere emotional or intellectual concern.”

Ashby-Koppens is concerned that the decision overturns legal tradition by introducing standing to dismiss a general civil action brought against a company for wrongdoing.

“This is the latest decision in a pattern where the courts are simply refusing to hear evidence by throwing actions out at the earliest preliminary phase possible,” she said.

“It is concerning that where cases have been brought in respect to large pharmaceutical interests that the courts are not allowing the cases to get beyond first base.”

The legal blow is just one of a series of Covid vaccine-related cases brought by members of Dr Fidge’s legal team that have been dismissed by the Courts on procedural technicalities.

A lawsuit seeking to revoke the provisional approval of Moderna’s SPIKEVAX vaccine for babies and toddlers was dismissed, in an unprecedented in-chambers decision, on the basis that it would, “unduly divert the Court from its principal functions,” in March 2023. This was despite the legal team highlighting to the High Court that the case involved “preventable deaths and injuries.”

Another lawsuit seeking to prevent the administration of the Pfizer vaccine to children aged five to 11 was dismissed by the Federal Court on the issue of standing, in June 2022.

“These kinds of decisions, especially when made by Judges who have not declared potential conflicts, do not promote faith in the courts,” remarks Ashby-Koppens.

The Federal Court was contacted for comment but did not respond by publication deadline.

Dr Fidge’s legal team said they are reviewing Justice Rofe’s decision and are considering an appeal.

Image credit: Unsplash+

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  1. So…where’s the Australian Governor General who is supposed to act as the representative of the Crown for the people? (or…’subjects’..?) (this is why Law Enforcement everywhere refers to suspects as ‘subjects’)
    Why hasn’t the G.G. removed the compromised and conflict-of- interest Judge from the case?
    Couldn’t be that the Judge and his Pfizer and Moderna mates could possibly incriminate themselves, …would they???

  2. Before sounding off in support of Barnett’s shonky reporting and Fidge’s long-time mRNA anti-vaccine misinformation, commentators should read the actual Federal Court of Australia judgement at
    It concluded:
    135 This case essentially concerns an applicant who holds strong personal beliefs that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are unsafe and seeks to have those vaccines prohibited in Australia. Instead of making an application under the relevant statute which regulates vaccines, the Therapeutic Goods Act, a path that some previous applicants who hold concerns about the safety of Covid-19 vaccines have recently and unsuccessfully pursued (see, eg, AVN), the applicant seeks an injunction under an act that only tangentially deals with GMO vaccines. That strategic decision may be understandable in light of the decisions in AVN and AVN FC but was ultimately misguided.
    136 For the reasons given above, the applicant has failed to establish that he is “any other aggrieved person” within the meaning of s 147(1) of the Act. The applicant lacks standing and therefore “has no reasonable prospect of successfully prosecuting the proceeding” within the meaning of s 31A(2)(b) of the FCA Act and r 26.01(1)(a) of the Rules.
    137 Accordingly, the applicant’s application for injunctive relief under the GTA is summarily dismissed.
    I certify that the preceding one hundred and thirty-seven (137) numbered paragraphs are a true copy of the Reasons for Judgment of the Honourable Justice Rofe.
    Dated: 1 March 2024”
    Incidentally the Australian Office of the Gene Technology Regulator has stated that COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not meet the definition of a GMO in the Gene Technology Act 2000 so do not require a licence from the Gene Technology Regulator and that the vaccines do not contain a GMO.
    Note – the vaccines do not contain a GMO!

    • You have missed the point. No judge should be ruling on a case in which one of their former clients is a party. That’s is a fundamental basic rule of legal ethics. The judge should have recused herself. The only thing shonky is this kangaroo court.

  3. “…when you see that men get rich more easily by graft than by work, and your laws no longer protect you against them, but protect them against you. . . you may know that your society is doomed.”

  4. The Govt. Judiciary and Police have been compromised for the last 200 years but a big push forward to a tyrannical level in just the last 10. We the people need to re-enforce to Govt. that we dont want outside NGOs dictating policy to Australia in anyway shape or form. When I ask my local representitive an awkward question they say something like ‘we are bound by WHO and UN protocols’. What Protocols ? the ones they signed up to without referendum by the people ? – yeah you betcha. They did so because they are corrupt they have been bribed they dont give a damn about anyone or anything they are just self serving freeloadind puppets to the trough. You think a certain former CEO wilingly gave up a $4.5 m pay day to run for Govt. think again. Outside influence in Australian Govt. has now gone way past corrupt, it is now at a Criminal Genocidal level. We the people need to take our country back. Govts. are elected by the people for the people to serve the people. When they dont serve the people anymore they must be removed.


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