term 4 year 8 civics & citizenship (The freedoms of Australian…
term 4 year 8 civics & citizenship
Civics and citizenship concepts
A democracy is a system of government run by the people, for the people.
Representatives of the people then develop policies and make laws on behalf of the people who have elected them.
The people of ancient Greece practised what is known as a
A direct democracy involves citizens meeting together to make laws for their society.
Most democratic societies such as Australia are
This means we elect representatives to make laws on our behalf.
Democratic values are the beliefs and ideals that are held by our society as a democracy. Such values include respect, equality, fairness and freedom
By understanding democratic values and their purpose, we can assess if a government is operating as a true democracy.
rights, privileges and responsibilities for all without interference, or control from the government
treating others with consideration and valuing their views, beliefs and rights
rights and privileges for all, without discrimination
all people are treated fairly, or without injustice, and are given equal opportunity
Australia's system of government is based on it
The Westminster system is a form of parliamentary government originating in the United Kingdom
It is named after the area of London where the British parliament is located
• a lower house of parliament that has been elected democratically by the people
• a head of state(such as the Queen or Governor General) whose job is mainly ceremonial
a head of government (such as a prime minister) who leads most of representatives in lower house
• an executive or cabinet made up of members of parliament
• an independent civil service
an independent judiciary
concept of participation is an important part of living in a democracy. It refers to the way good citizens contribute to or take part in society.
One of the most important ways we can participate in a democracy is by voting in an election
Other ways of participating in a democracy might include
• participating in a political discussion
• signing petitions that aim to make a change to society
• contacting your local member of parliament
• campaigning for a person or party who is trying to get elected
• becoming a member of parliament
Rights and Responsibilities
The concept of rights and responsibilities refers to our entitlements and duties as citizens
ensure we are able to have a say in the way our country is run and are treated fairly in the process.
the right to vote, the right to trial by jury, the right to freedom of religion, protection against discrimination
In the United States, the rights of the citizens are protected by their Bill of Rights. This Bill (or legislation) makes sure the freedoms of US citizens are protected
ensure we contribute to our society in order to keep it going as a strong democracy
voting in elections, jury service, paying taxes, obeying the law
The idea of justice can mean different things to people from different societies and cultures
the concept of justice in Australia ultimately means that people should treat each other in a manner that is fair and balanced.
Australia's national identity
Our national identity is made up of our shared history and values along with our diverse traditions and cultures
Mateship and the Anzac legend
Mateship refers to the strong relationship between mates or friends, which is based on loyalty, support and the ability to rely on each other
Another part of the Australian national identity is the Anzac legend, which began on 25 April 1915 during World War I’s Battle of Gallipoli
even though the ANZACs did not win the Battle of Gallipoli, the soldiers showed great courage, humour and mateship throughout the war
Many of us can identify with the concept of mateship. For some people, it is working with team members on the sporting field. For others, it is helping out a friend or neighbour
Our changing identity
Before Europeans arrived on this continent, our country was populated by many diverse Aboriginal nations and peoples
After the British arrived, the population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples suffered great losses.
Back in the 1800s- to early 1900s our population was mainly white and Christian, and our national anthem was ‘God Save the King’
Today Australia’s national identity is evolving again to become a more multicultural society.
How laws are made
Australia’s laws can come about in two ways. Statutory laws are those that are made and passed by parliament
Statutory laws can be passed by both state and federal parliaments
state parliament can only pass laws affecting their own state, such as the legal driving age in that state
federal parliament, on the other hand, can pass laws that apply to the entire nation, such as the rules about becoming an Australian citizen
Passing a statutory law
Preparation of a Bill
The Bill only becomes a law if and when it has been approved in the exact same form by both houses of parliament and the Governor-General
At this stage, only the title of the Bill is read, giving the other members a chance to read the Bill in their own time
Second reading debate
In the second reading, the member who introduced the Bill explains why the Bill has been introduced, the members will vote on the Bill and any changes to it, which if passed goes on to the third reading
the House of Representatives will vote on the Bill. If the majority vote to pass the Bill, it will move to the Senate for consideration
The Bill will be passed to and from the upper and lower houses until both agree to any changes in the Bill, or until the Senate rejects the Bill completely
Assenting the law is usually just a formality, as none of the Queen’s Governor-Generals have ever refused to assent a law in the past
The role of a judge is to interpret the statutory laws passed by parliament and apply them to individual cases. New and unusual cases come up every day and, in some instances, statutory law is not clear about how a particular case should be dealt with
, which in this context means that any similar cases in the future should be dealt with in the same way.
In Australia, most of our basic rights are protected by common law, since we do not have an official Bill of Rights
common law recognises people’s right to not incriminate themselves, which means they do not have to testify or answer questions if they believe it will make them look guilty
Why do we need laws
The main reason we have laws is so that we can all get along. If there were no rules or laws at all, the world would become chaos because everybody would be able to do, say or take whatever they wanted.
Legal and non-legal rules
Rules do not just come from our government. There are many organisations and people who will create rules and regulations for the sake of organisation and protecting each other
Some of these rules are non-legal rules, which means they are not enforceable by the government
Laws, on the other hand, are legal rules made by law-makers. This means they can be enforced by the courts or polic
The lawmakers involved in making our legal rules include parliaments (state and federal), local councils and the courts
Why do we obey the law
The law protects us from a world without rules, in which we are not all necessarily able to protect ourselves
Another reason we obey laws is that we understand society needs laws in order to function peacefully
: we might not appreciate stopping for a red light when we are late driving somewhere, but we can understand the consequences of what would happen if we didn’t stop.
The freedoms of Australian citizens
Australia has been considered by many as a lucky country. This is mostly because of our high living standards and financial opportunities, it also has much to do with the freedom with which people can live their lives in Australia.
Freedom of speech
Freedom of speech allows a person to actively participate in Australia’s democracy by voicing their opinions publicly about any topic within the
bounds of the law.
People are not allowed to spread lies that could damage a person’s reputation
the Australian constitution does not protect freedom of speech, rather it is a privilege encouraged by the culture of our society.
Freedom of association
People in Australia are free to join or form any group or organisation that they wish to, as long as the main activities of the group are legal
our freedom of association is not officially protected by the Australian constitution, although culturally it is considered a basic right
Freedom of assembly
The freedom of assembly allows people to meet in groups for social or political purposes
group of people can come together to express their opinions in a protest as long as it does not turn violent or break laws such as trespassing
this is as long as the groups stay within the
bounds of the law
Freedom of religion
Australians are free to practice their many different faiths or, to practice no religion at all
freedom of religion is the only freedom that's protected by the Australian constitution
The Criminal Code (Cth) can be seen to interfere with freedom of religion or expression of religious beliefs
For example, section 80.2C prevents people from encouraging or advocating terrorism
Freedom of movement
Freedom of movement refers to a citizen’s ability to freely move between states or regions within their own country
In Australia, we are allowed to move freely between the states and territories. As citizens, we are also allowed to leave and return to Australia whenever we like, however, migrants who are not citizens may have conditions placed on their visas
BOUNDS OF THE LAW
means that we cannot break the law in order to express our freedom of speech, association, assembly, religion or movement
, we are allowed to assemble and protest in Australia, but if that protest becomes violent and people get hurt, it is no longer a legal activity.
The types of law
Criminal law refers to the group of laws that have been put in place to protect us from harm. It is considered a crime when one of these laws is broken
Serious offences are known as
, which means they must go to trial in court and will be punished more severely
and are generally dealt with quickly by the court or police
a guilty act and a guilty mind
There must be a
, which means that the law was broken (such as stealing a bike)
There must also be a
, which means that the person accused of the crime intended to break the law (it wasn’t just an accident)
Going to court
When a person goes to court for a crime, it is referred to as a criminal trial or hearing. In court, the person who has been accused of the crime can also be known as the ‘defendant’
Civil law protects individuals. It typically deals with disputes between individuals (including corporations or government bodies) over an action (or lack of action) that results in loss or harm.
, we have the right to expect others to be careful in matters that affect us. If we are eating at a restaurant, we have the right to expect that the people preparing and serving our food are following safe food-handling procedures, so that we don’t become sick when we eat that food.
When one party takes action against another, the civil action does not necessarily go straight to court. Sometimes the parties involved can negotiate a solution between themselves
Traditionally passed down by word of mouth, the customary law of Indigenous Australians varied between nations and language groups just like their languages and other customs
Customary law still has major significance for many of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
Australia Day is the anniversary of the First Fleet’s arrival in Sydney Cove in 1788. This was the fi rst offi cial voyage from Britain and involved eleven ships carrying convicts and supplies sailing to Australia to establish a colony here.
Some think we do not need a national day, while others believe it is inappropriate to celebrate Australia on the day our country was colonised by Britain