Legal Studies Queensland - Summary

Topics: Law, Common law, Criminal law Pages: 32 (4296 words) Published: May 11, 2013
Chapter 1 – The Legal System
1.1What is law?

* Defn: those rules which will be recognized/enforced by courts

* Means different things to people

* ‘Law; covers a diverse range of human activities

* Impacts upon peoples lives differently

1.2Why do we need law?

* For humans to co-exist harmoniously

* To be applied and enforced in a legal system

* Based on a generally accepted moral code

1.3Norms and rules

* Important behavior controls

* Do not have the status/force of laws

* Norms: socially acceptable habits/customs

* Rules: regulate our lives in a more formal manner

* Features of a law that distinguishes law from a norm/rule: * Authority
* Consequences
* Regulation

1.4Why do laws change?

* To reflect needs and values of members of society

1.5What are the features of a ‘good law’?

* Must contribute positively to the well being of all citizens in society. Following features must be present:

1. Must fairly balance individual/private rights with the food of the whole community

2. Laws should be clear
* So citizens can understand
* Judges must be able to interpret/apply the law

3. Law should be consistent/stable
* Confidence/certainty in the law
* Prospective (take effect in the future)

4. Should apply equally to all

5. Should be capable of being enforced

Chapter 2 – Historical Sources of Australian Law
2.1Sources of law

1. Authorative (statute law) source of law – made by parliament

2. Common law – made by judges

Terra Nulluis


* European nations that settled onto uninhabited land that had no sovereign ruler and no system of land – they could legally take over and claim the land as their own

2.2Law before British Settlement

* Indigenous Aus.’s – first to Australia longstanding r.ship with the continent

* Developed ‘Aboriginal (Indigenous) customary law’

Aboriginal Customary Law

* Part of an oral tradition

* Passed down through stories/songs/rituals/ceremonies not written down

* Extended family units – 60+ people (“clan”)

* Each clan named after area where they normally lived

* “Kinship” rules governing r.ships between clan members

* 100’s of tribal areas throughout Aus.

* Traditions/social structures/laws/beliefs all varied

Independence – From 1700s to 190s

1788 -European settlement of Aus.

1788-1818 -Large prison under direction of British Governor

1823 - New South Wales Act.

1828 - Australian Courts Act Passed (England)

1833 - Colonists demanding to make decisions themselves

1842 - NSW given authority to expand Legislative Council to 36

1850 - Aus. Colonines Gvt. Act

1859 -QLD became a separate colony

1865 - The Colonial Laws Validity Act

1880s -Call for Federation for the 6 colonies

1898 - Federation Bill agreed upon – apart from WA

1900 - Federation Bill taken to England for approval

1901 - Commonwealth of Aus. (Federation of Aus. states)

2.3Law after British Settlement

* 1788 Cap. Arthur Phillip arrived at Sydney Cove

* Laws of England were to apply

* No recognition of abgnl. laws

* No negotiation with abgnl. laws

* 18th Cent. – era of extensive colonization

* European nations developed i.national doctrines/laws

* ‘Terra Nulluis’ land belonging to no one country would be taken over by a colonial power

* Not ‘Terra Nulluis’ negotiate w. inhabitants

* British considered Abgnl. culture to be primitive

Chapter 3 – Law Made by Parliament
3.1Australia’s three levels of parliaments

* Aus. – constitutional monarchy

* Source of Aus.’s Federal/State/Territory parliaments – Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia

* Three levels of parliament:

1. Federal...
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