Legal Studies - Area of Study 1 &2 Notes

Topics: Westminster system, Legislature, Parliament, Separation of powers, United Kingdom, Law / Pages: 25 (6236 words) / Published: Mar 11th, 2013
Area of Study 1
The Principles of the Australian Parliamentary System
Representative Government refers to a government that characterises the views of the majority of people. The Government consists of representatives of the people who are chosen by the public.
-Regular Elections
-If government does not represent the needs of the majority of people it is likely to be voted out of office at the next election.
TIP-Do not use a circular definition. Ie. Do NOT say "representative government refers to a government that represents the views of the majority of the people". This definition will not get you full marks. (or should not if your teacher marks according to VCAA standards.)
Responsible Government refers to the government’s accountability to the voters.
-Government is answerable to the people for its actions.
- Ministers are responsible to parliament and therefore the people
(Ministerial accountability)
- Ministers are responsible to parliament for the actions of their department
- Members of Parliament may question ministers about their and their department’s activities.
- Ministers must act with integrity or resign.
If government loses support of lower house it MUST resign. Hence, Government is responsible to parliament. Parliament is responsible to the people.
TIP-Make sure to not only say that government is accountable to the voters but how government is responsible to parliament and parliament is responsible to the public. Hence the link
The Principle of separation of powers refers to the fact that there are three separate types of powers in our parliamentary system.
• Legislative power- The power to make

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