Legal Law Reform Essay

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Topics: Law, Common law
It could be argued that both the international and the Australian domestic legal systems have both been effective in responding to the need for law reform in modern society. There are four key conditions that have been identified as influencing the need for change to law. Both the parliament through statute law and the courts through common law have important roles to play in bringing about effective change.
One important condition that gives rise to law reform is the changing of social values. This means reforming laws to suit the changes in society. Social values are standards that guide people in the direction of wrong or right. The similar views society holds upon these standards is a reflection of public morality. Therefore, in order for the law to be abided and relevant to society it needs to reflect the social value of the people. An example of law reform in this area is seen amongst same-sex relationships. Changing social values led to same-sex couples being recognised as de facto relationships. This led to the Property (Relationships) Act 1984 (NSW). Therefore it is evident that the domestic legal system is effective in responding to changing social values.
Another important condition that gives rise to law reform relates to new concepts of justice. As social values change, so does the idea of justice. New concepts of justice come in when the law is incapable of delivering just outcomes to individuals and the community. An example of law reform in this area is seen in the case of capital punishment. The concept of justice shifted from retribution (a life for a life) to rehabilitation. This comes to show the effectiveness of the domestic legal system in responding to concepts of justice.
Law reform is also influenced by new technology. As technology advances, pressure is placed upon the need for the law to keep up. This is due to its continuous development. An example of law reform in this area is seen in the introduction of motor vehicles, where the

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