Research on the Flexibility and the Adaptability of Australia's Legal System

Topics: Australia, Westminster system, Australian Capital Territory Pages: 4 (967 words) Published: August 1, 2012
Kevin Erwin
Student No: CTH0108CT
17 July 2012

Week 1: Research on the flexibility and the adaptability of Australia’s legal system.

Before one can comment on the flexibility and adaptability of Australia’s legal system, one must understand how Australia’s legal system came into being.

Australia’s system of government:

Australia’s legal system is derived from Australia’s system of government which itself, is enshrined in the Australian Constitution.

A Federation of States:

Australia is a federation, a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy.

This means that Australia:

.Has a Queen, who resides in the United Kingdom and is represented in Australia by a Governor-General.

.Is governed by a ministry headed by the Prime Minister.

.Has a two-chamber Commonwealth Parliament to make laws.

.A government, led by the Prime minister, which must have a majority of seats in the House of Representatives.

. Has eight State and Territory Parliaments.

This model of government is often referred to as the Westminster System, because it derives from the United Kingdom parliament at Westminster.

Australia is a federation of six states, each of which was until 1901 a separate British colony.

The states – New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania, each have their own governments, which in most respects are very similar to those of the federal government. Each state has a Governor, with a Premier as head of government. Each state also has a two-chambered Parliament except Queensland which has had only one chamber since 1921. There are also two self governing territories: the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. The federal government has no power to override the decisions of state governments except in accordance with the federal Constitution, but it can and does exercise its power over territories.

A Constitutional Monarchy:

Australia is an...
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