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Presentation on theme: "AREA OF STUDY 1: PARLIAMENT AND THE CITIZEN Unit 3 Revision."— Presentation transcript:


2 DP 4: THE MEANS BY WHICH INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS INFLUENCE A CHANGE IN THE LAW Explain what is meant by ‘formal’ pressures for change and ‘informal’ pressures for change and detail an example of each.

3 Answer Formal pressures for change come from within the parliamentary system, such as members of parliament, parliamentary committees, law-reform bodies (such as……..). Informal pressures come from individuals, groups and organisations that are not directly connected with the parliamentary law-making process such as individuals signing a petition, pressure groups such as GetUp!, media coverage (editorials).

4 Individuals and groups influencing a change in the law Explain the three main methods that individuals use to influence a change in the law.

5 Answer Petitions A petition is a written request to parliament for action. It is accompanied by a set of signatures that shows the signatories to be concerned about a particular issue or problem and to support the request. Petitions must be presented to members of parliament for them to be tabled in parliament. For example, throughout the parliamentary debate on the Abortion Law Reform Bill 2008 a number of petitions were received by parliament.

6 Answer Demonstrations Demonstrations such as rallies, strikes, marches are gatherings of members of the community, held in a public place, that are designed to show their support for a change in the law. They are held to demonstrate the views of the protestors to the members of parliament. For example, in 2012 teachers took strike action, protesting for better pay and working conditions.

7 Answer Use of the media The media (such as television news, newspaper articles, Twitter and blogs) play an important role in informing the public and members of parliament on community views in relation to issues of possible law reform, thereby potentially influencing a change in the law. The media coverage may draw the public’s attention to the issue and may also report on the views of individuals, organisations and pressure groups.

8 Evaluating the effectiveness of methods used by individuals and groups In addition to explaining the means by which individuals and groups can influence the change in the law, you are also required to evaluate their effectiveness. Use the EVALUATE TEMPLATE to plan your answer! Evaluate the effectiveness of each of the methods in changing the law (4 marks for the discussion of each method)

9 Answer METHODSTRENGTHSWEAKNESSES PetitionsHave the ability for both a large number or just a few people to voice their concerns to parliament – upholds principle of responsible government The greater number of signatures, the greater the influence as it shows a higher degree of support Provide the ability of all people to have their views aired. *can be time consuming and costly There is no guarantee that the parliament will use the views (they can ignore the petition and not change the law) Don’t generally attract media attention, so not as effective in raising community awareness of the issue.

10 Answer METHODSTRENGTHWEAKNESS DemonstrationsLikely to gain media attention and thereby raise awareness of the cause Communicate the views of a number of people Can be time consuming, costly Rely on the support of a large number of people to be successful May inconvenience some members of the public who would therefore disagree with the call for the change in the law If demonstrations are violent and this is broadcast by the media, people may be less likely to support the change in the law as they associate the violent protestors with the issue.

11 Answer METHODSTRENGTHWEAKNESS MediaReach a large audience and can therefore influence the views of the community, as well as report on them Serve an educative function for the rest of the community, who are made aware of the issue Members of parliament can gauge the views and attitudes of society (therefore increased representative govt) May present biased reporting of the issue rather than informing the public and parliament of both sides of the debate and therfore decreasing the support for the change in the law Media coverage may highlight split views in the community, which would work against law reform.

12 Examples of recent changes in the law You are required to use current examples to explain influence on legislative change. Using a current example, explain the influences on legislative change and evaluate their effectiveness.

13 Answer The change in the law: The Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008 (Vic.) was introduced into Victorian Parliament. The new legislation allows greater access for Victorians who need assisted reproductive treatment procedures to create a family, with no discrimination on the basis of marital status, sexual orientation, race or religion. Factors leading to the change: Significant advances in reproductive technology and changes in community attitudes and values towards the use of assisted reproductive treatment meant that the current laws in this area were outdated and needed revising. In 2002, the VLRC received a reference to investigate and report on the laws that govern the use of assisted reproductive treatment in Victoria. In 2007, the VLRC’s report was tabled in parliament. There were also informal pressures for change. Parliament received petitions from the public and the newspapers followed legislative change with letters to the editor and feature articles. These methods, particularly the use of media, were effective in influencing a change in the law in that they raised public awareness of the proposed change and the members of parliament were able to gauge the views of their constituents as a result of petitions.

14 Hot tips There are three steps: Explain the method used to influence a change in the law. Evaluate its effectiveness (outlining strengths and weaknesses). Provide current examples to show how individuals and groups have influenced a change in the law and the effectiveness of the methods that they used.

15 CAN YOU… Distinguish between an informal pressure for change and a formal method for change, citing relevant examples of each? Explain the three methods used to influence a change in the law? Evaluate the effectiveness of each of these methods to influence a change in the law? Describe at least TWO recent examples of when individuals or groups have used a method to influence a change in the law?

16 DP 5: THE PROCESS FOR THE PROGRESS OF A BILL THROUGH PARLIAMENT Explain the difference between a bill and an Act of Parliament or statute.

17 Answer A bill is a PROPOSED law, to be introduced and passed through parliament. An Act of Parliament or statue is a bill that has been passed by both houses of parliament and has received the assent of the Queen’s representative.

18 Definitions Define these terms: Bill Cabinet Second reading debate Second reading speech Statement of compatibility

19 Answer Bill: a proposed law that has been drafted to be considered by parliament. Cabinet: the policy making body of government, made up of the Prime Minister and senior federal minsters and State Cabinet is made up of the Premier and senior state government ministers. Second reading debate: part of the second reading state of the passage of a bill through parliament where the opposition, government and other parties formally debate the overall purpose and function of a bill before the parliament. Second reading speech: part of the second reading stage of the passage of a bill through parliament where the member introducing the bill gives a speech to parliament outlining the purpose and function of the bill. Statement of compatibility: A statement that occurs in the Victorian Parliament at the beginning of the second reading speech to indicate whether the bill being considered is compatible with human rights protected under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities and how this is so.

20 Passage of a bill through parliament Explain the complete process of the passage of a bill through parliament – explain each stage and it’s purpose.

21 Answer See handout ‘the passage of a bill through parliament’.

22 Hot tips Remember, it is parliament, not government, that passes bills to become acts. Bills must proceed through ALL THREE PARTS OF PARLIAMENT: the Lower House, the Upper House and the Crown. Be able to explain each of the stages of a bill through parliament – test yourself: if the MP is reading out the Statement of Compatibility, what stage is the bill? If the bill is being signed by the Governor, what stage is the bill? If he MP is giving out a speech outlining the purpose, function and objectives of the bill, what is this called? At what stage does this happen?

23 CAN YOU… Explain the law-making process for a bill to become an act of parliament? Explain the purpose and function of each of the stages (introduction of bill into the house, initiation of bill, First Reading, Second Reading, Consideration in Detail Third Reading, Second House, Certification, Royal Assent, Proclamation). Explain the difference between a bill and an Act of Parliament?

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