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Natalie Wieland BA. LLB Academic Skills Support 2013 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Natalie Wieland BA. LLB Academic Skills Support 2013 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Natalie Wieland BA. LLB Academic Skills Support 2013 1

2 Overview Started as a penal colony on 26 January 1788 Stated the land was “terra nullius” ie/ uninhabited A number of colonies Commonwealth Constitution 1901 Only in recent years acknowledged Aboriginal legal system 2

3 Federal System The Constitution set up a Federal System with three tiers of government 1. Federal/Commonwealth 2. State 3. Local 3

4 Governor General The head of our Commonwealth Government is a representative of the Queen – the Governor General who is currently Quentin BryceQuentin Bryce Each state has a Governor. In Victoria it is currently Alex Chernov AC, QC Alex ChernovACQC 4

5 Role of Governor General 5 Pursuant to the Constitution advise if the Governor- General Has to assent to a Bill for it to become law Can he/she withhold consent The Governor-General represents the Queen

6 Who deals with what? The Constitution establishes what areas are dealt with by the Federal Parliament. If an area is not listed it remains with the States. We need to look at the Constitution to establish who has what powers. 6

7 7 Common Law (Case law) Legislation – statutes and regulations Sources of law

8 Court hierarchy 8

9 High Court of Australia Highest court in the land – no further right of appeal Current Chief Justice – French CJ Current Chief Justice 9

10 Koori Court A Koori Court is a division of the Magistrate's court in Victoria, Australia, that sentences Indigenous Australians who pleaded guilty. Koori Courts were created in order to allow participation of the Aboriginal community and culture in the legal system, in an attempt to bridge the cultural differences between Indigenous Australians and the imposed colonial law. They began operation in 2002, and are held on a designated day in an ordinary courthouse. The laws administered are exactly the same as in any Australian courthouse, but the format of the hearing is different.court AustraliaIndigenous Australians 10


12 Common law 12 developed by Judges, usually superior courts (doctrine of precedent) Each case a solution to a dispute between two or more parties A series of cases on area of law can form the ‘legal framework” eg. Negligence

13 Doctrine of precedent 13 rules of common law are found in past cases English common law employ stare decisis ie. to follow the decisions' of earlier cases

14 Doctrine of precedent 14 Each court is bound by decisions of courts higher in the hierarchy A decision of a court in a different or lower hierarchy may be persuasive not binding A court is not bound by their own decisions Only the ration decidendi (the reason for deiciding) is binding Obiter dicta (passing remarks) are not binding but persuasive Precedents do not lose their force over time* Taken from “Laying down the law” 8 th edition pp116-117 Lexis Nexis

15 Law reports The doctrine of precedent requires a comprehensive reporting system in order to find the authoritative decisions. Each jurisdiction has its own authorised version which you must use when citing a case 15

16 Authorised reports It is vital to know which is the authorised version for each court. A full list can be found on the library website at: Library -> Tools – Authorised Reports CourtReportAbbreviation High Court of Australia Commonwealth Law ReportsCLR Federal Court of Australia Federal Court ReportFCR Supreme Court of Victoria Victorian Reports 1957- Victorian Law Reports 1875- 1956 VR VLR Supreme Court of Canada Supreme Court ReportsSCR 16

17 Legislation vs case law The general rule is legislation takes precedence over case law. Therefore, Parliament can always change the case law rules. However, the Courts interpret the legislation and therefore can effect the meaning of the words. Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth) eg. S.15AA the requirement to interpret provisions in accordance with the underlying purpose of the Act 17

18 Parliament Federal democratic system – powers set out in the Constitution Commonwealth States (Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, New South Wales, Western Australia) Territories (ACT and Northern Territory) 18

19 The legislative process An idea is developed into a Bill The Bill passes through Parliament Receives Royal Assent Governor- General (Federal) Governor (State) 19

20 20 The Bill has an Explanatory memorandum which helps understand purpose of Bill 1 st readings - > Second reading (most important) - > 3 rd Reading - > Passed Cannot become law until GG (or Governor at State level) signs and then check for commencement details Creating an Act Governor- General Bill drafted Lower House Upper House

21 Lower House – House of Representatives 21

22 Upper House - Senate 22

23 Subordinate legislation 23 Not all laws can be made in Parliament – so need the power to delegate and make subordinate legislation. Most common form are regulations

24 How to change An amending Act needs to be drafted and passed through Parliament 24

25 How can I tell if there have been changes Commonwealth Acts – check the notes at the foot of the Act E. Fair Work Act s.12 Victorian Acts – check the margin Eg. Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 s.14 25

26 Summary 26 Two ways to make law: Case law (including interpreting legislation) Legislation

27 Questions? More Information? Don’t forget you can always come to the library for help, or the Academic Skills Centre 27

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