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Law Reform - Mechanisms
Law Reform - Mechanisms
Law Reform - Mechanisms
Law Reform - Mechanisms
Law Reform - Mechanisms
Law Reform - Mechanisms
Law Reform - Mechanisms
Law Reform - Mechanisms
Law Reform - Mechanisms
Law Reform - Mechanisms
Law Reform - Mechanisms
Law Reform - Mechanisms
Law Reform - Mechanisms
Law Reform - Mechanisms
Law Reform - Mechanisms
Law Reform - Mechanisms
Law Reform - Mechanisms
Law Reform - Mechanisms
Law Reform - Mechanisms
Law Reform - Mechanisms
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Law Reform - Mechanisms

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  • 1. Law ReformMECHANISMS of reform A ‘mechanism’ is the part that physically makes it happen.HOWdoes the law end up Courts Parliaments changing? United Nations Intergovernmental organisations (IGOs) THEME: The relationship between different legal institutions and jurisdictions
  • 2. Law ReformMECHANISMS of reform We need to look at: 1. What they are; and 2. HOW THEY WORK (“operate”) Examine the operation of the different Courts mechanisms of reform Parliaments Law Reform United Nations MECHANISMS of Intergovernmental reform organisations (IGOs) THEME: The relationship between different legal institutions and jurisdictions
  • 3. Law Reform MECHANISMS of reform CourtsThe main role of the courts is to interpret and apply law provided byparliamentJudges can change laws by precedents set in court cases, but theygenerally TRY NOT TO INTERFERE with the parliament’s laws (they justtry to apply the law as it was intended.But even when the courts DO make “new” common law, parliamentCAN come along the next day and pass a law that makes the court rulingirrelevant! Unless the court was ruling that a statute law is unconstitutional, in which case the parliament can’t do anything about it but try to pass a NEW law that ISN’T unconstitutional.
  • 4. Law Reform MECHANISMS of reform CourtsImportant High Court cases have included:The Work Choices Case Gave more power to the federal government on workplace relationsRoach v Electoral Commissioner Interpreted the Constitution to mean that there is a right to vote (even for some prisoners)Australian Capital Television v Commonwealth Freedom of political communication allowed by the mediaMabo v Queensland (No. 2) Native title
  • 5. Law Reform MECHANISMS of reform CourtsImportant High Court cases have included:The Work Choices Case Gave more power to the federal government on workplace relationsRoach v Electoral Commissioner Interpreted the Constitution to mean that there is a right to vote (even for some prisoners)Australian Capital Television v Commonwealth Freedom of political communication allowed by the mediaMabo v Queensland (No. 2) Native title In the case of Mabo v Queensland (No. 2), the parliament passed the Native Title Act 1993 the next year to create the Native Title Tribunal and make the test for native title clearer (it’s pretty difficult to read the Mabo case).
  • 6. Law Reform MECHANISMS of reform CourtsImportant High Court cases have included:The Work Choices Case Gave more power to the federal government on workplace relationsRoach v Electoral Commissioner Interpreted the Constitution to mean that there is a right to vote (even for some prisoners)Australian Capital Television v Commonwealth Freedom of political communication allowed by the mediaMabo v Queensland (No. 2) Native title In the case of Mabo v Queensland (No. 2), the parliament passed the Native Title Act 1993 the next year to create the Native Title Tribunal and make the test for native title clearer (it’s pretty difficult to read the Mabo case).
  • 7. NOTICE: You don’t put an ‘s’ at the end of ‘legislation’. Law Reform The plural is the same as the singular. There’s NO SUCH WORD AS ‘LEGISLATIONS’ MECHANISMS of reform It sometimes helps to say “A piece of legislation” or “Pieces of Parliaments legislation”, so you can tell when you’re using the plural.These are our MAIN law makers (which makes sense, because we votefor them, and can remove them if we haven’t approved of the lawsthey’ve passed).A parliament reforms the law by passing legislation (statute laws).PROBLEM: Politicians want to get elected/re-elected, so a lot of thechanges recommended by other groups may not be a good idea for thegovernment to bring in.e.g. The proposed poker machines changes (which would have caused Labor to lose an election)Most of the reforms made by the government reflect their politicalpolicies. These policies can change as the Party decides though.e.g. the Labor government lifting the Australian ban on exports of uranium to India in 2011
  • 8. Law Reform MECHANISMS of reform ParliamentsParliament usually doesn’t make a BRAND NEW law if there’s alreadyone there that just needs fixing.Parliament often only needs to pass an amendment to the current law.e.g.We have an Act that covers crimes in NSW. It’s called the Crimes Act (NSW). But it was passed in 1900 (the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)). Now parliament wants to add some sections. So it passes the Crimes Amendment (Criminal Organisations Control) Act 2012.An amendment might only be a page or two long, it just says things like “In s.171, the penalty should change from 20 years to 25 years imprisonment”
  • 9. Law ReformMECHANISMS of reform Parliaments +
  • 10. Law ReformMECHANISMS of reform Parliaments =
  • 11. Law Reform MECHANISMS of reform ParliamentsEXAMPLE: Dealing with “bikie gangs”… (HSC ‘Crime’ topic) Anthony Zervas was murdered at Sydney Airport in 2009. It freaked people out. The media pushed the government to make drastic changes to the law (despite the fact that murdering people at the airport was already illegal)
  • 12. Law Reform MECHANISMS of reform ParliamentsEXAMPLE: Dealing with “bikie gangs”… (HSC ‘Crime’ topic)Because the murder had something to do with bikie gangs (the guy who was convicted was a bikie, as well as the victim’s brother), the NSWgovernment focused on bikie gangs when it came to reforming the law. So parliament passed the Crimes (Criminal Organisations Control) Act 2009 (NSW)This law allowed ANY group (not just bikie gangs, or gangs in general) to be banned and its members put in jail for seeing each other after the ban. It only took 3 people to ban an entire organisation – the Police Commissioner, A-G, and ONE SINGLE JUDGE, who didn’t even have to give REASONS for WHY they were banned!!!
  • 13. Law Reform MECHANISMS of reform ParliamentsEXAMPLE: Dealing with “bikie gangs”… (HSC ‘Crime’ topic)Because the murder had something to do with bikie gangs (the guy who was convicted was a bikie, as well as the victim’s brother), the NSWgovernment focused on bikie gangs when it came to reforming the law. So parliament passed the Crimes (Criminal Organisations Control) Act 2009 (NSW) Some laws take months to debate and change (‘amend’) and fix and vote on. This law was announced, written and passed through both Houses ofthe NSW Parliament in one week due to the public and media outrage.
  • 14. Law Reform MECHANISMS of reform ParliamentsEXAMPLE: Dealing with “bikie gangs”… (HSC ‘Crime’ topic)BUT, a member of the Hells Angels challenged the law in the High Court and WON! (Wainohu v NSW (2011)). After being overturned by the High Court, the NSW government tinkered with the law and came up with a new law that is basically the same (but won’t be overturned by the High Court).Crimes Amendment (Consorting and Organised Crime) Act 2012 (NSW) AKA: ‘The Consorting Law’
  • 15. Law Reform MECHANISMS of reform ParliamentsEXAMPLE: Dealing with “gangs”… (HSC ‘Crime’ topic)“Inverell man CharlieFoster, 21, who was born with anintellectual disability and cannotread or write, was sentenced tobetween 9 and 12 months jail afortnight ago for a series ofshopping trips and walks withthree friends who have priorconvictions”. 7:30 Report (2012)
  • 16. Law Reform MECHANISMS of reform ParliamentsEXAMPLE: Dealing with “gangs”… (HSC ‘Crime’ topic)His conviction was eventuallyoverturned, but the law itself isSTILL IN PLACE!
  • 17. Law Reform MECHANISMS of reform United NationsThe United Nations (UN) has been able to encourage internationalsupport for treaties/conventions. e.g. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has 167 signatory countries.As more countries agree to ratify these conventions, they will also lookto reform their own DOMESTIC laws to follow the agreement they havesigned. e.g. Removing discriminatory sections of Acts to better protect the human rights of their people.
  • 18. Law Reform MECHANISMS of reform United NationsThe United Nations has had serious difficulty in reforming the lawbecause of: - A lack of real commitment by some countries e.g. The US refusing to sign the Rome Statute (to allow Americans to be tried by the International Criminal Court), AND encouraging other countries not to be part of it either. - The massive difficulty in getting countries to agree (a lack of ‘consensus’) e.g. The United Nations still has NO DEFINITION OF ‘Terrorism’ because countries can’t agree on the difference between “terrorists” and “freedom fighters”. – One Man’s Freedom Fighter… can we ever define terrorism? (The Conversation (2013) - A history of failures e.g. They did not prevent, or even stop, the Rwandan genocide in 1994
  • 19. Law Reform MECHANISMS of reform Intergovernmental Pronounce it: INTER-GOVERN-MENTAL organisations (IGOs)Intergovernmental Organisations (IGOs) are organisations that havesovereign states (individual countries) as members. e.g. United Nations, the European Union and the World Trade Organisation.The ‘member states’ have certain common goals. e.g. Increasing trade between member nations e.g. Resolving conflicts between member nationsIntergovernmental organisations have become increasingly important.
  • 20. Law Reform MECHANISMS of reform Intergovernmental organisations (IGOs)They are able to:- Encourage cooperation between states- Provide a forum for countries to resolves disputes without violence e.g. the European Court of Justice- Create consistency across countries in law reform e.g. The European Parliament e.g. The European Court of Human Rights

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