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PLEWA Joint Panel Presentation Contemporary Constitutional Law Cases.

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Presentation on theme: "PLEWA Joint Panel Presentation Contemporary Constitutional Law Cases."— Presentation transcript:

1 PLEWA Joint Panel Presentation Contemporary Constitutional Law Cases

2 What the Syllabus Says we must teach 2A types of laws made by parliaments, courts and subordinate authorities the court hierarchy, rules of statutory interpretation and the doctrine of precedent key processes of civil and criminal trials in Western Australia at least one contemporary issue involving the judicial process*. 2B Ways individuals and political parties and pressure groups can participate in Australias electoral processes at least one contemporary issue centering on representation*

3 Harriton V Stephens (2006) Wrongful Life Case How can we use it in P&L? Look at the old Law and Society values that underpin our laws Major Social Values – Right for Life Protection of the Weak Functions of law To promote and represent the values and aspirations of a community Characteristics of effective laws Respected and acknowledged by the community Applies universally without arbitrary discrimination against or in favour of a particular social groups or individuals It has a degree of flexibility in its application to cover various situations.

4 Harriton V Stephens (2006) Judges Precedent and Common Law Look at how Judges make law Evolution of the tort of negligence See handout Emphasis on how courts interpret past decisions Duty of care and the neighbour principle Look at two judgements Crennan and Kirby (dissenting) small discussion on activism and legalism in judicial interpretation.

5 Harriton V Stephens (2006) Adversarial Court hirerachy Appeals Legal Process Civil Damages

6 Elections and representation Roach and Rowe Principles of fair elections Achievement of electoral rights How individuals and Pressure groups can participate in Australia's electoral process.

7 What the Syllabus Says we must teach 3A lawmaking process in parliament and the courts with reference to the influence of: individuals pressure groups role and powers of the High Court of Australia including Sections 71, 73, 74, 75, 76 methods of judicial interpretation: legalism and activism with reference to at least one common law decision and one constitutional decision.

8 What the Syllabus Says we must teach 3B the accountability of parliament through elections to the House of Representatives and the Senate types of rights: civil political economic social cultural the ways of protecting rights in Australia including constitutional, common law and statutory rights and in one other country the status of international covenants, protocols and treaties in protecting human rights in Australia

9 lawmaking process With respect to: Individuals – Roach Pressure Groups – Rowe Get up as the leader in this action against the government Role of High Court: In relation to electoral rights Application and interpretation of the Constitution Significance of the judgements : Activist v Legalist Constitutional – Rowe Landmark?

10 Elections Electoral Rights and freedoms Roach Voting in elections for the Parliament lies at the very heart of the system of government for which the Constitution provides. This central concept is reflected in the detailed provisions for the election of the Parliament of the Commonwealth in what is otherwise a comparatively brief constitutional text …McGinty does not deny the existence of a constitutional bedrock when what is at stake is legislative disqualification of some citizens from exercise of the franchise.

11 Rowe Constitutional law decision – impact on electoral process How High Court ruling allowed people to register to vote after the issue of write. Ruled changes to Electoral Act unconstitutional

12 Impact of Rowe on the 2010 election 2010 federal election differed in some respects from recent previous federal elections. Interesting point for dinner party conversation - a federal election had not been held in winter since 1987. The decision in Rowe v Electoral Commission effectively restored the close of rolls period to seven days following the issue of writs which resulted in an unanticipated additional workload for the Australian Electoral Commission in processing of almost 100 000 enrolment transactions.

13 Impact of Rowe on the 2010 election AEC were required to process enrolment applications received after the two original enrolment cut off dates but which were received on or before 8pm Monday July 26 2010. This processing added 57 732 new electors to the electoral roll and 40 408 changes to enrolment details. Look at the Stats for distribution few marginal seats had got additional electors which would benefit one party in that area.

14 Impact of Rowe on the 2010 election Added point of interest on 13 August (which was a Friday) The federal Court upheld the use of a digital signature in completing a claim for enrolment. Getup Ltd v Electoral Commissioner (2010) FCA869 The federal court held that a claim for enrolment completed on Getups ozenrol website and signed digitally by Ms Sophie Trevitt using a digital pen on a track-pad and witnessed using the same technology met the requirements of the Commonwealth Electoral Act. Ms Trevitt was subsequently added to the electoral roll and was able to vote in the 2010 election.

15 Rights Roach The case was launched by an individual, Vicki Lee Roach, in order to protect the violation of her rights. The right in question was the right to vote, which Ms Roach believed was infringed by amendments to the Electoral Act.

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