top of page

A Case Studies of Arbitrary Government Actions: Analyzing where governments have acted arbitrarily, bypassing legal frameworks.

A wide range of thinkers from various disciplines have an influence on the field of public policy and governance, which frequently serves as a battlefield for ideologies. It's important to look at examples of arbitrary government actions, especially when governments have broken the law under the guise of emergency powers. It's also important to break down the effects of these actions using analysis.

The COVID-19 pandemic provided fertile ground for observing the dynamics of government overreach. In Australia, and more specifically, the Northern Territory, the government's response to the health emergency showcased a complex interplay between public safety and individual freedoms. Governments worldwide, including Australia's, have invoked emergency powers, ostensibly to kerb the spread of the virus. These powers, however, led to what can be perceived as arbitrary enforcement and overreach.

For instance, the Northern Territory's stringent lockdown measures and travel restrictions, though asserted as necessary for public health, raised questions about the proportionality and necessity of such extensive controls. Worse, no evidence was provided, and discourse was censored and actively discouraged. Critics argued that the sweeping powers granted to public health officials and the police to enforce these measures lacked clear oversight and accountability mechanisms, leading to misuse or overzealous enforcement. The critics were right, and both public officials and police actively harmed, abused, and arguably killed citizens through their negligence.

This scenario echoed the concerns of judicial philosophers who advocate for the rule of law and warn against the dangers of arbitrary power. The essence of the argument is that when governments bypass established legal frameworks, even for seemingly justified emergencies, they risk undermining the very foundations of a just society. Emergency powers must be balanced with safeguards to prevent abuse and ensure that they are used proportionately and temporarily. Any use of emergency powers requires open and transparent review, censorship is unacceptable to retain any level of trust or authority.

Any economist who champions the principles of free markets and individual autonomy has also critiqued the economic implications of government overreach during crises. The shutdowns and restrictions, while aimed at controlling the asserted "pandemic," had severe economic repercussions, affecting livelihoods and exacerbating inequality. While government intervention may, in certain publicly approved circumstances, be necessary during a public health crisis, it should be measured and mindful of the long-term economic impacts, advocating for policies that balance public health needs with economic resilience.

Psychologists and psychiatrists have noted the profound impact of stringent government measures on mental health. Prolonged lockdowns and the uncertainty associated with arbitrary enforcement of rules contribute to increased anxiety, depression, and a sense of helplessness among the population. This perspective highlights the need for governments to consider the psychological toll of their actions and to incorporate mental health support as a crucial component of their emergency response. The NT increased their spending dramatically during and after their actions, however, rather than providing incentives for trained private professionals to come to the Territory, they threw millions of taxpayer funds into bureaucratic departments and their associated NGO associates. Most of these NGO's provided unqualified PCO's that only exacerbated the problems and left those seeking help and care with no confidence in those providing it.

The surge in suicides is an unmistakable indicator of the dire consequences that have unfolded. Moreover, the collateral fatalities, significantly attributed to unintended medical repercussions (iatrogenic deaths), have escalated to such an extent that two shipping containers have been requisitioned to accommodate the overflow from an already inundated mortuary. Compounding this grim scenario is the intermittent failure of cooling units and power supplies, resulting in an odious stench that profoundly affects the well-being of individuals residing in nearby nursing facilities.

In addressing the security aspect, personnel with experience in the field emphasise the importance of preparedness and effective risk management rather than reactive, arbitrary measures. The principles of good security management suggest that governments should base their actions on thorough risk assessments, clearly defined objectives, and transparent communication. This approach not only enhances the efficacy of the response but also maintains public trust and cooperation.

It carried a certain irony that during the pandemic, private security firms, which became indispensable in enforcing health directives, were simultaneously maligned due to the subpar performance of certain disreputable entities in reported corrupt southern cities. These frontline enforcers often bore the brunt of public animosity, themselves victims of the backlash against the government's extensive intrusions. These intrusions included mandates like mask-wearing, despite contentious evidence of effectiveness, and social distancing, despite assertions that sneezes could propel viruses well beyond prescribed limits. Moreover, the government's insistence on seemingly absurd rules, such as the requirement to remain seated while eating to curb the virus's spread, only added to the public's skepticism and the ridicule directed at those tasked with enforcing these mandates.

In light of varied perspectives, it's clear that the real task is in striking a precarious equilibrium. Authorities are tasked with the delicate act of justifying essential interventions while avoiding the predictable and glaring excesses that stem from an all-too-common absence of accountability. Their actions must be firmly rooted in legal, proportional, and responsible governance. The experiences from the Northern Territory and beyond during the COVID-19 crisis underscore the intricate and often treacherous terrain of leadership in periods of emergency. The Northern Territory government and their health bureaucrats failed in every aspect. Worse, one of the more malevolent actors was promoted to NT administrator instead of being held criminally liable for the excess deaths his actions and behavior led to.

The arbitrary actions of governments, particularly those under emergency powers, present a complex challenge that demands a nuanced approach. While the immediate goal might be to address a crisis, the long-term implications for the rule of law, economic stability, individual freedoms, and societal well-being are profound. The lessons from these case studies underscore the importance of vigilance, accountability, and a principled approach to governance, ensuring that the measures taken in the face of emergencies do not inadvertently erode the very foundations of a free and just society.

Those survivors of the actions that occurred in the Northern Territory will never forget, never forgive, and will never allow this action to occur again.

In major events across the Top End, the deployment of police officers is a common sight, yet their training and capabilities fall short when managing large crowds. Security personnel often find themselves intervening to defuse tensions between understandably frustrated citizens and these armed officers. The police, with a focus more on enforcing directives than engaging with the community, have increasingly become the focal point of public ire. Despite harsher penalties, acts of violence against the police are on the rise. Notably, over 2,000 crossbows were purchased locally during lockdowns — a chilling reflection of the growing animosity, as these weapons are known to penetrate standard police armour. This trend is alarming, not merely for the immediate threat it poses but for the profound shift in public perception. The most detrimental effect of the emergency measures during the supposed pandemic may well be the erosion of trust and respect for the police. The consequence is a force struggling to recruit new members, particularly those with the credibility and stature once deemed essential. The once revered image of the police as impartial enforcers of justice has been significantly tarnished. From the author.

The opinions and statements are those of Sam Wilks and do not necessarily represent whom Sam Consults or contracts to. Sam Wilks is a skilled and experienced Security Consultant with almost 3 decades of expertise in the fields of Real estate, Security, and the hospitality/gaming industry. His knowledge and practical experience have made him a valuable asset to many organizations looking to enhance their security measures and provide a safe and secure environment for their clients and staff.

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page