Basic Legal Concepts
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The Legal SystemSection 1 - Basic Legal Concepts, Mr Shipp - Term 1, 2015
Mr Shipps hint and tips
Organise yourself by using the syllabus. As you complete each dot point, mark it off so you know where the course is currently placed!If you are away from class it is your responsibility to keep up to date. Resources will be available on moodle and my websites
Moodle - Year 11 Legal Studies!
Wikispace - Year 11 Legal Studies!
Hint: Learn your syllabus points and you are one step away from doing well in assessment
Meaning of LawLaws evolve from traditions, cultures and values!Law is a set of enforceable rules of conduct which set out guidelines for the way individuals and society behave!The law is always trying to keep up to date with the changing society we live in
What is the Law?
Customs are collective habits or traditions that have developed in a society overtime!Customary law are principles and procedures that have developed due to customs of people or a nation!Nation-State refers to a politically independent country
Laws and RulesLaws Rules
Laws are enforceable Rules are used in certain circumstances e.g classroom
Laws are binding on the whole community Rules can be easily changed by the
group in chargeLaws reflect the publics interest
Laws can be made by parliaments (statutes) Rules may only exist in certain
areas e.g PlaygroundLaws can be made by Judges (precedents)
Values and Ethics
Values - fundamental beliefs of a person or social group!Ethics - based on ideas of right and wrong within society
Why is it difficult to make laws based on values and ethics?
Sword - Punishment
should be given out with reason
Blindfold - Justice should
Scales - Cases should be balanced
Characteristics of a Just Law
Just Laws must be:!Enforceable be able to be obeyed!Acceptable obeyed by majority of society!Discoverable laws cannot be a secret
The following are essential to ensure justice can be achieved:!
equality that all people are treated in the same way, without unfair advantage or disadvantage!
fairness that the legal system is free from bias, dishonesty or injustice!
access the right or opportunity to make use of something, particularly access to the legal system
The Nature of Justice
philosophy of ensuring an action achieves the greatest good for the greatest number of people
political philosophies that uphold liberty as the highest political end.This includes emphasis on individual liberty, political freedom and voluntary association.
Laws are made for the majority (Unknown)!
An unjust law is not law at all (St Augustine)!
At his best man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst (Aristotle)!
The laws that protect us also make us bored (Unknown)!
Where the law ends, tyranny begins (John Locke)
Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth (Mohandas Gandhi)!
Laws made by common consent must not be trampled on by individuals (George Washington)
Natural Justice (Procedural Fairness)
For justice to be achieved, there must be fairness in the processes used to resolve disputes. !The two essential features of a fair and just process are:!
the right to be heard!the right to have a decision made by an unbiased decision-maker
The Rule of LawThe rule of law requires that no one is above the law. !
This includes those who make the law and enforce the law!
Arbitrary power Is making decisions without any reference to the law!
In Australia the use of separation of powers under the constitution maintains the rule of law
An Independent Court System!Controls placed on enforcement agencies!The Parliament is bound by the constitution
Key Features of the Rule of Law
Rule of Law in Australia
Why do people obey the law?
It makes them feel safe and secure!laws are based on the customs and values of society!penalties apply for those who fail to obey the law
Anarchy and Tyranny
Anarchy is the absence of laws and government!A state of anarchy can sometimes break out after a major disaster or a war!
in 2005 in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, violence and looting became widespread
Tyranny - Cruel and oppressive government or rule e.g Stalin, Hitler!Countries where tyranny exists are often called police states. Rule of law does not apply