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Sources of australian contemporary law 1

Sources of australian contemporary law 1






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    Sources of australian contemporary law 1 Sources of australian contemporary law 1 Presentation Transcript

    • Sources of Australian Contemporary Law
    • Australia’s legal system is based on an adversarial system of trial
      in an adversarial system, the parties to a court case are opponents who must prove their version of events to ‘win’ the case - the judge is only an impartial observer
      Adversarial and Inquisitorial Systems
    • in an inquisitorial system, the judge is actively involved in asking questions, calling evidence and determining the case
      Wood Royal commission used an inquisitorial system
    • Australia imported common law from England when the country was settled by British colonists
      over time, Australia developed its own system of courts and law as it became independent from Britain
      Common Law
    • ‘Precedent’ is the basis of Australia’s system of common law
      when a court decides a case, the reason for the decision can become a precedent for future cases
      in this way the law develops a body of case law that is applied in future judgments
      this is sometimes known as ‘judge-made law’
      The Doctrine of Precedent
    • courts are bound by precedents, and lower courts will be bound by the decisions of higher courts – this is known as binding precedent
      when a court is not bound by another court’s judgment it can still be influential – this is known as persuasive precedent
    • Two important terms
      RatioDecidendi– the legal reason why a judge came to a particular decision
      Obiter Dicta – comments from a judge in a case that are not directly relevant to the case (there not legally binding)
      Judge making a decision
    • Go to my website for extensive information
      Court Hierarchy
    • Local Court (Magistrates Court)
      most criminal cases begin here
      presided over by magistrate (no jury)
      deals with summary matters
      no appellate jurisdiction
      committal proceedings regarding serious matters to determine whether a prima facie case exists
    • coroner ensures all deaths, suspected deaths, fires and explosions which come under the his/her jurisdiction are properly investigated
      inquisitorial approach
      Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RT3iPXklKK0
      Coroner’s Court
    • is a closed court
      presided over by Magistrate (no jury)
      rehabilitation is the primary purpose of sentencing
      Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKBki73KnMU
      Children’s Court
    • Specialised court enforcing environmental law
      Concerned with environmental planning and offences
      Land and Environment court
    • has appellate jurisdiction from Local Court –
      presided over by a judge
      trial by jury or judge along
      deals with serious criminal (Indictable) offences
      Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41UWqMyMSVI
      District Court
    • has appellate jurisdiction from District Court and Local Court
      highest court in NSW (deals with most serious criminal offences e.g. murder, attempted murder
      hears bail applications presided over by judge
      trial by jury
      Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsWB8QmGJgs&playnext=1&list=PL8CDAD32EB1A64C76
      The Supreme Court of NSW
    • has appellate jurisdiction from District Court and Supreme Court
      Grounds for appeal include:
      challenging a conviction involving a question of law
      questions of fact, mixed questions regarding sentence severity or adequacy
      The court of Criminal Appeal
    • To Relieve press on other federal courts
      It does not deal with criminal matters
      This court has been dissolved
      The Federal Magistrates Court
    • Deals with industrial matters and bankruptcy
      Deals with civil matters (except family matters)
      The Federal Court of Australia
    • Complex family matters – Divorce, parenting orders, division of property
      The Family Court of Australia
    • Deals with appeals from the federal courts and state supreme courts
      Cases involving the interpretation of the Australian constitution
      The High Court of Australia