Week 1: The Australian Legal System and Intro to Law (Functions of Law…
Week 1: The Australian Legal System and Intro to Law
What is the Law?
A body of rules that regulates the relationship between members of societiy and between the government and its citizens
Tries to avoid conflict and promote social cohesion
Made by the parliament and courts
Functions of Law
Regulates what we do.
Tells us what we can do and how we do it
Promotes rules and structures for dispute resolution
Reflects basic community values
The more it reflects community values = the more likely it is to be reflected
Law is not morality nor ethics although it tries to represent social or community values
Promotes stability and cohesion
stable system of law = more predictable business, more stable society
Promotes justice and the rule of law
No one is above the law
Apllies to everyone equally
Laws should be clear, publicized stable and just
the process in which laws are enacted, administered and enforced is accessible, fair, and efficient
Justice is delivered in a timely manner
Australian Legal System
Australian Law doesn't start with colonization , it started with indigenous law.
1992 legal system recognized indigenous land rights, therefore recognizing indigenous law.
Australia deemed a colony. All Laws of England applied
Conflict between indigenous law and British law
Established on 1901 as a constitutional monarchy
Federal System which recognized national law as well as state laws.
British monarch is head of state
Separation of Powers
the actual government we speak about day to day
Strict separation from executive branch and parliament
Act as checks on each other. none have too much power.
Section 128 changes in constitution
Sources of Law
The most dominant law making institution in Australia
Courts need to interpret legislation when deciding cases
Doctrine of precedent
Treat future cases similar to historical cases
State and Territory Courts
Read "An introduction to studying law units"