Legal Studies Summary Notes

Topics: Common law, Jury, Law Pages: 20 (5906 words) Published: July 30, 2013
Legal Summary Notes

Principles of the Australian parliamentary System
Representative government- means that the government must represent the views and interests of the people who voted them in. if they fail to do so then they will not be elected the next time, or could be kicked out of the parliament by the Governor General. Responsible government- the government must be answerable to the people and the parliament for its actions. If they fail to do so then they won’t be re-elected. Separation of power The power of government is divided into 3 main factions, Legislature, Executive and Judiciary. This is done so no-absolute person or body holds all the powers of the government and also so to prevent the parliament from possible abuse over power.    Legislature- is in chapter one of the commonwealth constitution, which is made up of the parliament members. They have the power to make laws. Executive- is in chapter two of the commonwealth constitution, made up of the Prime Minster and its Cabinet. They have the power to administer laws. Judiciary- is in chapter three of the commonwealth constitution, made up of the courts. They have the power to interpret and enforce laws.

Structure of the Victorian parliament and Commonwealth parliament Victorian parliament  Legislative assembly (lower house)- is known as the peoples house. It represents the majority of people by having one member from each of the 88 electorates in Victoria. Its main role is to make law and form government. Legislative Council (upper house)- has 40 representatives, 4 from each of the 8 regions in Victoria. Its main role is review the laws passed from the lower house.

Commonwealth parliament  House of Representatives (lower house)- is more causally known as the peoples house, which is made up of 150 electorates. The role of the lower house is to introduce & change laws, Delegate legislation, Control the Budget, Set up Committees and Debate bills & laws. Senate (upper house)- is known as the states house, which consists of 12 representatives from each of the states and 2 from each of the territories. The role of the senate is to review and scrutinise all bills passed down form the lower house.

Role of the crown The crowns representative at the commonwealth level is called the Governor General, and at the state level he/she is called the Governor. The main roles of the crown are:    Grant royal assent to bills Appoint the times for holding parliament To bring an end to a session of parliament without dissolution

Reasons why laws need to change
 A change in technology- because these days there are more and more new technologies developed, we need to make laws to set boundaries on where and how you can use that technology. For example in recent year’s people has had may problems about sexting, but now a law has been made that you can’t send a sexual image of yourself or others until your 18 and over.

Victorian law reform commission (VLRC)
Role- The roles of the VLRC are, Act on matters referred by the Attorney General and on minor legal issues of general community concerns by examining, reporting and making recommendations to the Attorney General and Educate the community. Process VLRC receives a reference to begin the law reform project VLRC staff takes research and consultation on the project A consultation paper is published and the public can send in submissions A report is made with the recommendations for change to the law Parliament decides whether to implement the recommendation through legislation

Ways individuals or groups and influence a change in the law  Petitions- a formal document which individuals can sign supporting a particular issue. This is then presented to the relevant minister or a member of parliament. In recent years Australians have been petitioning to allow same-sex marriage. Demonstrations- when a number of people gather in a public place to gain attention for a particular cause. In the past...
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