Civics and Citizenship HASS Term 4 (6 Key Concepts (The Westminster…
Civics and Citizenship HASS Term 4
6 Key Concepts
The Westminster System
The Westminster System is a form of parliamentary government originating in the United Kingdom.
The idea of justice can mean different things to people from different societies and cultures.
Democratic Values are the beliefs and ideals that are held by our society as a democracy.
The 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.
A democracy is a system of government run by the people, for the people.
Rights and Responsibilities
The concept of rights and responsibilities refers to our entitlements and duties as citizens.
Common law is created when a judge has to make a ruling about a case that is not covered by statutory law.
Civil Law protects individuals from harm.
Statutory laws are those that are made and passed by parliament
Criminal law refers to the group of laws that have been put in place to protect us from harm.
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.
Why Do We Need Laws?
Legal and Non-Legal Rules
Laws, on the other hand, are legal rules made by law-makers. This means they can be enforced by the courts or police
Schools and sporting clubs have rules. Some of these rules are non-legal rules, which means they are not enforceable by the government.
Why Do We Obey The Law?
There are a number of reasons why people obey the law. Many people understand that laws are there to protect us and that without them there is not much to stop someone who wanted to hurt, steal or exploit others. The law protects us from a world without rules, in which we are not all necessarily able to protect ourselves.
Every day of our lives, we are influenced by rules and regulations. From wearing a seat belt when travelling in a car to buying a ticket to ride the bus, we come in contact with rules all the time.
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. Society needs rules or laws to guide us. Most laws are created by the government for our own good.
How Laws Are Made
Preparation of a Bill
A Bill is a formal document that is prepared as a draft Act, or law. It is proposed by a member of parliament (MP) when people feel the need to change an existing law or establish a new one. 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.
After giving prior notice to parliament that a Bill will be discussed, the MP who is introducing the Bill will provide a copy of the draft Act to every other MP. 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 other members are then allowed to ask questions, make suggestions for changes and debate whether the Bill is the right way to tackle the issue that it aims to address. Because laws are such an important part of how our society functions, this debate can often get quite heated with members passionately arguing their different opinions on the issue. In the end, the members will vote on the Bill and any changes to it, which if passed goes on to the third reading.
After having some more time to consider the details of the Bill and any changes resulting from the second 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.
Once it reaches the Senate, the Bill will go through the three reading stages again. 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.
If the Bill is passed by both houses, the GovernorGeneral as the Queen’s representative will review and approve the law by giving the Bill royal assent. 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.
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. This means that a person can be a member of a political party, social club or workers’ union without fear of persecution.
Freedom of Assembly
The freedom of assembly allows people to meet in groups for social or political purposes. A 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. The ability to assemble and protest freely is an important part of democracy in Australia because it allows us to influence political outcomes.
Freedom of speech
A fundamental need for any democracy to function is 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.
Freedom of Movement
Today, there are twice as many people arriving in Australia as there are leaving the country. Australia is considered by many as a land of opportunity but it does not restrict those who wish to seek opportunities elsewhere. A citizen can travel freely to all states and territories in Australia and also leave and re-enter Australia. These rights are not available to people who are not Australian citizens, who must fulfil certain requirements to be allowed to enter the country.
The Freedom of Australian Citizens
Australia has long been considered by many as the lucky country. This is largely because of our high living standards and financial opportunities, but it also has much to do with the freedom with which people can live their lives in Australia. Freedom allows people to act and express themselves in whatever way they feel, so long as it does not infringe upon the rights of others
Freedom of Religion
Australia is a multicultural society without an official religion. Australians are free to practice their many different faiths or, to practice no religion at all. It is important to remember that the rules of any given religion cannot override Australian laws.