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Chapter 1: Law in Society

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1 Chapter 1: Law in Society
Area of Study 1 Chapter 1: Law in Society

2 Differences between legal and non-legal rules
Rules tell us what we can and cannot do Classification Law-makers Enforcement Non-legal rules Made by private individuals or groups, e.g. parents, schools Cannot be enforced through the courts Legal rules Made by law-making bodies with the force of law, e.g. parliament, local councils Can be enforced through the courts Learning Activity 1.1 Question 3

3 The Need for Laws Main aims of the law: Protect society
Keep society functioning Protect individual rights Stop behaviours that affect the good order of society Provide guidelines of acceptable behaviour and prevent conflict Learning Activity 1.2 Question 3 in groups

4 Characteristics of an effective law
Known to the Public Acceptable to the community If a new law is not communicated to the public it cannot be followed Major law changes are often reported in the media Speed laws change along the roads, signs inform the public If the law is not acceptable people may disregard it If a law is no longer acceptable to the community it needs to be changed

5 Characteristics continued…
Able to be enforced Stable If people break the law they must be able to be caught and bought to justice If not people will not follow the law If the law is constantly changing no-one would know what the law was and there would be chaos

6 Characteristics continued…
Able to be changed A law needs to be able to change with changes in community values Laws need to change to keep up with changes in technology Learning Activity 1.3, Question 7 Online Investigation for homework

7 Different Types of Laws
a) Criminal and Civil law b) Way laws are made Laws made by parliament – acts of parliament Laws made by sub-ordinate authorities – e.g. local councils Laws made by courts

8 Criminal Law Aims: To apprehend, prosecute and punish people who have broken the law To deter others from breaking the law Examples of Criminal Law Words commonly used Crimes against: -person (e.g. murder, assault, rape) -property (e.g. theft, vandalism, fraud) morality (e.g. prostitution, drug use) -the legal system (e.g. perjury, contempt of court) -the state (e.g. treason) -prosecution, the Crown, the state (party bringing the case on behalf of the state) -accused, the offender (the person who has been charged with an offence) -suspect (person who is suspected of a crime) -guilty/not guilty -charge -sentence -conviction

9 Civil Law Civil law involves a dispute between two parties
The aim of civil law is to return the person whose rights have been infringed back to their original position Examples of Civil Law Words commonly used -tort law (e.g. negligence, nuisance) -family law (e.g. marriage, adoption, divorce) -industrial and workplace laws (e.g. OHS, workplace agreements) -consumer law (e.g. advertising law, tenancy agreements) -property law (e.g. wills, real estate purchases) -plaintiff -defendant -sue -compensation -damages -civil wrong -defamation -negligence

10 Criminal or civil? When deciding if a case is civil or criminal, you should look at: The consequences The intention of the case (Does the case seek a civil remedy such as compensation? Or does it seek to punish the offender?) Learning Activity 1.4 Questions 2-3

11 Law-making in Australia
3 Levels of law-making bodies: Commonwealth Parliament – makes laws for the entire country in a range of areas State and territory parliaments – laws given in the constitution for each state to make separately Local councils – address minor issues in their area within the state

12 Role and characteristics of parliament
Modelled on the British Westminster system Relies on the government of the day having the support of the majority of the members of the lower house of parliament to govern Role of parliament is to pass laws for the good government of the country or state Commonwealth and Victorian Parliaments are bicameral which means two separate houses.

13 Basic Structure of Parliament
Commonwealth Parliament Victorian Parliament Queen’s representative Governor-general Governor Upper House Senate Legislative Council Lower House House of Representatives Legislative Assembly

14 Government: Members of the political party that holds the majority of seats/members in the LOWER house. They propose bills, but the whole of parliament has to pass them. Opposition: Next largest political party in the lower house. They question the government about policy matters.

15 Prime Minister at the federal level, Premier at the state level
Prime Minister or Premier Cabinet The leader of the winning political party becomes the head of government Prime Minister at the federal level, Premier at the state level Head of government selects a cabinet made up of senior ministers Cabinet is the policy-making body of government It proposes new policies and directions It decides what proposed laws will be presented to parliament for debate

16 Commonwealth Parliament
House of Representatives (Lower House) Senate (Upper House) role is to represent the people, introduce and pass proposed laws (bills) and for the government those elected hold seat for three years 150 members 76 senators elected altogether (12 per state, 2 for territories) election for half senate seats every 3 years, elected for 6 years role to introduce and pass bills, to review bills passed by the House of Reps

17 Victorian Parliament Legislative Assembly (Lower House) Legislative Council (Upper House) Role is to introduce and pass bills and to form government for state those elected hold seats for 4 years 88 members 40 members review bills passed by the Legislative Assembly, can reject of amend bills hold seats for four years

18 Influencing Changes in the Law
parliaments are elected by the people and should therefore make laws that reflect the needs of the people law must change when the need arises for people to succeed in influencing a law, it is important that the media backs the change

19 Law-making Through Parliament
Government decides what changes in the law to initiate a bill (proposed law) is drawn up and presented to parliament Copy Diagram of a bills journey though parliament from page 27

20 Law-making by Subordinate Authorities
Parliaments do not have the time or expertise to pass all the laws necessary for running the country they delegate some of their law-making power to subordinate authorities The are experts in their field and are more accessible to members of the public Enabling Act: gives the subordinate authority power to make laws, outlines guidelines for law-making

21 Examples of Subordinate Authorities
Statutory Authorities: bodies that are created by an act of parliament (e.g. Environment Protection Agency, Australia Post) Government Departments: government decides on general policies to be administered by government departments such as the Department of Human Services Executive Council: made up of state governor and relevant ministers, make many regulations on behalf of statutory authorities and government departments Local Councils: make local laws for their area. Each area has different needs and local councils are more aware of the needs of people in their area

22 Learning Activity Revision Questions
Learning Activity 1.3 questions 1, 2, 3, 4 Learning Activity 1.6 questions 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 Learning Activity 1.7 questions 1 – 4 Learning Activity 1.8 questions 1-3 Learning Activity 1.9 questions 3-5 Learning Activity 1.10 questions 1-4 Practice Exam Questions 1-4

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