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Principles of the Australian Parliamentary System
Government)–!The!government!is!the!party!or!coalition!of!parties!that!wins!the!most!seats!in!the!House!of!Representatives!
Parliament)–!Consists!of!a!group!of!elected!representatives!and!a!person!who!represents!the!Queens.!In!the!federal!parliament!that!person!is!the!
Governor>General.!Parliaments!make!the!laws!for!a!country/state!
Crown)–!The!monarch!is!represented!by!a!governor/governor>general.!Refers!to!the!position,!power,!or!dominion!of!a!monarch.!The!monarch!as!
Head!of!State!
Separation)of)Powers)–!The!three!branches!of!power!(executive,!legislative!and!judicial)!
Federal)System)–!The!power!to!govern!is!divided!by!the!Commonwealth!and!states.!
Bicameral)–!A!bicameral!parliament!consists!of!two!chambers!or!houses!
Minister)–!A!minister!is!both!a!member!of!parliament!and!a!member!of!the!executive.!This!means!a!minister!is!usually!in!charge!of!a!government!
department!that!is!responsible!for!enacting!the!law!

!

Australian Parliamentary System
Under!the!Australian!federal!system!of!government,!the!country!is!divided!into!states!and!territories!each!with!its!own!parliament!–!making!a!total!of!9!
parliaments.!

Commonwealth,)6)States,)2)Territories!
They! are! elected! by! the! people! and! represent! the! needs! of! the! people.! Members! are! also! responsible! to! the! parliament! and! the! people! for! their! actions.!The)APS)is)based)on)the)Westminster)system)that)was)adopted)by)the)Commonwealth)constitution)in)1900,)as)originally)Australia)and)its) states) were) British) Colonies.! The! Commonwealth! and! State! Parliaments! operate! on! a! bicameral! structure! –! 2! Houses! –! Upper! and! Lower! houses.!
Exception:!QLD!and!territories!have!only!one!house!–!Lower!House.!
!

Bicameral Structure
Upper)House)
Lower)House)
Federal!Commonwealth!Parliament!–!

Queen’s!Rep!(Crown)!

Governor>General!(Quentin!Bryce)!
Senate)
House)of)Representatives)
State!Parliament!–!

Queen’s!Rep!(Crown)!

Governor!(David!DeKrester)!
Legislative)Council)
Legislative)Assembly)

Structure of Parliament: Crown, Upper House, Lower House
Lower House of Federal (Commonwealth) Parliament
House)of)Representatives)

150!members!represent!electorates!

Elections!are!held!every!3!years!

Political!party!with!majority!of!seats!forms!government!(majority!of!76!seats)!

Currently:!Hung!parliament,!major!party!sought!support!from!minor!parties!to!form!a!minority!government!

Roles of the Lower House

Provide)responsible)government)
• Ministers!are!responsible!to!parliament!and!to!the!people!
• May!present!petitions,!raise!concerns!of!citizens,!and!participate!in!debates.!
• If!government!loses!support!of!the!people!it!must!resign!
People’s)House)
• The! Lower! House! is! there! to! represent! the! people! as! their! members! are! democratically! elected! and! are! given! the! authority! to! act! on! their! behalf! • Should!represent!the!interests,!views!and!values!of!the!majority!of!the!people!
• Laws!proposed/introduced!should!reflect!the!views!and!values!of!the!community!
!
Initiate)Bills)
• Most!laws!and!ALL!money!bills!are!initiated!in!the!Lower!House!
• Usually!introduced!by!the!government,!however!any!member!can!introduce!a!proposed!law!
!
Publicise)and)scrutinise)government)administration)
• Role! of! the! Lower! House! is! the! publicise! the! policies! of! government! to! ensure! legislation! is! debated,! question! ministers! on! their! work! and! responsibilities,!also!form!committees!to!investigate!proposed!laws! !
Control)government)expenditure)
• A!money!bill!must!be!passed!through!both!houses!to!allow!the!government!to!collect!taxes!and!spend!money!
!

Effectiveness of the Lower House
The! distribution! of! parties! since! 2007! has! meant! the! ALP! has! been! able! to! pass! proposed! bills! through! the! LH! easily! due! to! their! large! majority.!
However)this)could)mean)less)debate)on)major)issues.!When!a!hung!parliament/minority!government!occurs,!it!could!be!much!harder!to!pass!bills.!
When!the!government!has!a!large!majority,!it!can!easily!pass!bills!and!fulfil!its!program!of!changes.!Government)is)a)section)of)the)parliament.)It)is) mainly)situated)in)the)lower)house.! !

Structure and Role of the Upper House (Federal Parliament)





Senate)–)76)senators)(12)for)each)state,)2)per)territory))
What)is)a)coalition?!When!two!political!parties!join!to!form!1!large!party!!
Leap) frog) elections:!Every!3!years,!half!of!the!senate!if!re>elected.!This!ensures!that!half!of!the!senate!has!considerable!experience!in!law! making.!Senators!are!elected!for!a!period!of!6!years.! Roles of the Senate
1)



2)





Act)as)the)State’s)House)
Senate!is!supposed!to!represent!the!interests!of!the!people!in!their!states!
Under!section!7!of!the!constitution,!the!senate!has!equal!representation!from!each!state,!regardless!of!its!size!and!population!to!ensure!the! interest!of!minority!states!are!protected! In!practice,!the!senators!tend!to!vote!along!party!lines,!and!therefore!fail!to!fulfil!their!role!as!a!State’s!House!
House)of)Review)
Senate!reviews!legislation!passed!by!House!of!Representatives!
Senate!can!amend!or!reject!any!proposed!law!
Initiate!any!bill!besides!money!bills!
Ensures!that!bills!are!scrutinised!further,!and!not!rushed!through!or!seen!to!be!too!radical!

Effectiveness of the Senate






!

Rubber)stamp:!If!the!government!has!a!majority!in!the!Upper!House!it!tends!to!act!as!a!rubber!stamp,!simply!affirming!decisions!made!in!the! lower!house! Balance)of)power)in)the)hands)of)a)few)–!If!the!BOP!is!controlled!by!a!minority!group!or!independents,!then!they!have!significant!power!in! demanding!amendments!to!bills,!e.g.!democrats!forced!change!to!GST!bill!to!make!basic!food!exempt!in!order!to!pass.!Ensures!legislation!is! thoroughly!scrutinised!
Hostile)Upper)House)–!Opposition!has!control!in!the!Upper!House,!and!they!can!frustrate!the!attempts!of!government!to!pass!much!needed!
legislation.!!
Vote)along)party)lines)–!do!not!necessarily!vote!according!to!the!interests!of!their!states!

Structure and Role of State Parliament
Upper)House)–)Legislative)Council)
Lower)House)–)Legislative)Assembly)
!
UH)Legislative)Council)
LH)Legislative)Assembly)
40)members)/)4)years,)no)leap)frog) elections)/)represent)8)electoral)regions) (5)per)region))/)President)as)head)
!

Same!as!senate!(roles)!

Represents!districts!

!

88)members)/)4)years)/)represent) electorates)/)Premier)as)head) •


Same!as!House!of!Representatives!
(roles)!
Represents!electorates!

The Crown
Governor[general,)Governor)
The! Queen! appoints! the! ‘Governor>general’! on! the! advice! of! the! Prime! Minister.! Governor! general! has! the! responsibility! of! appointing! a! federal! executive! council! made! up! of! the! PM! and! senior! ministers! to! give! advice! about! the! government! of! the! Commonwealth.! However,) in) practice,! the!
Governor!General!acts!on!the!advice!of!the!PM!and!senior!ministers.!The!government!carries!out!the!executive!power.!

Role of the governor general/governor





• o o

Acting)as)a)head)of)state)–!to!ensure!that!the!country!is!governed!
Performing)duties!of!the!executive!council:!(Prime!ministers!+!senior!ministers)!Including!giving!royal!assent!to!Bills!before!they!become!laws!
Designating)times!for!parliamentary!sessions!
Appointing)judges!to!the!courts!
Dissolving)LH!to!bring!about!an!election!
Exercising)reserve)powers)
Power!to!appoint!a!PM!if!there!is!a!hung!parliament!
Power!to!dismiss!a!PM!who!has!lost!the!confidence!of!parliament!

!
Royal)Assent:!The!signing!of!a!proposed!law!that!is!necessary!before!an!act!of!parliament!can!become!a!law.!At!federal!level!the!Governor!General!has!
the!right!to!withhold!royal!assent!in!certain!circumstances.!Governor!General!can!suggest!amendments!to!a!Bill!
Parliament)–!The!law!making!body!that!consists!of!all!members!of!both!houses!(upper!and!lower)!AND!the!queen’s!representative!
Government) –! Formed! by! the! political! party! that! holds! the! majority! in! the! lower! house! of! parliament.! The! other! major! party! that! did! not! win! the! election!forms!the!opposition! Cabinet)–!the!policy!making!body!made!up!of!the!prime!minister!and!senior!government!ministers!who!have!been!placed!in!charge!of!a!government! department.!They!decide!which!laws!should!be!introduced!into!parliament.! Representative Government
Refers)to)a)government)which)represent)the)views)of)the)majority)of)the)people))
o The!government!consists!of!representatives!of!the!people!who!are!directly!chosen!by!the!people! o To!achieve!representative!government!there!must!be!regular!elections!so!people!can!vote! o If!they!do!not!meet!the!needs!of!the!people,!they!are!likely!to!be!voted!out!of!office!at!the!next!election! o E.g.!John!Howard!was!voted!out!of!office!in!2007!&!replaced!by!Rudd!following!unpopular!industrial!relations!laws!

Responsible Government

Crown)and)its)ministers)–)Refers)to)the)government)being)accountable)to)the)voters) o The!government!must!be!answerable!and!accountable!to!the!people! o Ministers!are!drawn!from!within!the!government!and!must!maintain!the!confidence!of!the!government! o A! minister! can! be! called! upon! to! explain! their! actions! in! parliament! and! those! of! the! department! under! their! control! –! ministerial! responsibility! o Question!time!–!ministers!of!parliament!have!the!opportunity!to!question!ministers!about!their!actions! o If!the!government!loses!the!support!of!the!lower!house!it!must!resign!–!hence!the!government!is!responsible!to!Parliament! o E.g.!sexual!assault!case,!Theo!Theo!(haha)!was!forced!to!step!down!even!though!later!he!was!judged!to!have!done!nothing!wrong!
!

Separation of Powers

This!refers!to!the!three!branches!of!government,!which!should!be!kept!separate.!The)three)different)types)of)power)held)by)the)Commonwealth)must) be)exercised)by)different)bodies,)and)kept)separate)so)that)no)one)body)has)absolute)power!and!so!that!each!branch!acts!as!a!check!on!the!others! and!prevents!misuse!of!power.!The!constitution!provides!for!each!of!these!separate!powers.!
Independence:)

A!person!who!feels!their!rights!have!been!infringed!(bikie!gangs)!as!Parliament!has!passed!a!law!that!contravenes!the!Constitution!can!take!
that!matter!to!court.!

This)would)NOT)be)possible)if)the)independence)between)Parliament)and)the)courts)did)not)exist)

It!would!be!a!conflict!of!interest!for!Parliament!to!not!only!make!the!laws,!but!also!be!responsible!for!prosecuting!(executive)!and!punishing!
(judicial)!those!laws.!
!

Legislative Power
The)power)to)make)laws,)exercised)by)the)parliament)

Overlap!with!executive!power,!governor>general!is!part!of!both!the!legislative!(Parliament)!and!executive.!!

Some!members!of!parliament!are!also!members!of!the!government!

Parliament!also!delegates!some!law!making!powers!to!government!departments!and!the!executive!council!

Laws!passed!by!Parliament!must!receive!royal!assent!from!Governor!General!

Executive Power
!




Power)to)administer)the)laws)
Exercised!by!Governor!General!on!the!advice!of!the!Government!

Judicial Power




Power)to)enforce)the)law)and)settle)disputes)
Exercised!by!courts!e.g.!High!Court!
Kept! completely! separate.! Courts! are! independent! of! political! pressure! and! influence! which! is! necessary! to! retain! confidence! in! the! legal! system! !

System of Checks and Balances

Despite) the) overlap) between) the) legislative) and) executive) functions,) ministers) are) subject) to) scrutiny) of) other) members) of) parliament) during) question)time) o Role)of)the)opposition:!to!expose!flaws!in!proposed!legislation! o Upper)House:!When!controlled!by!the!opposition,!provides!for!greater!scrutiny!of!government! o Courts)are)independent)of)political)influence)
Reasons)for)the)Separation)of)Powers)
Each!power!is!separate!and!independent!and!creates!a!check!on!the!other!
!
o The!Separation!of!powers!protects!the!stability!of!government!and!the!freedom!of!the!people! o Provides)independence)between)the)bodies)that)make)the)law)and)the)bodies)that)enforce)the)law) o Provides!a!check!on!the!government!to!ensure!that!it!does!not!go!outside!of!its!powers!

Effectiveness of Parliament
Parliament) is) the) supreme) law) making) body) (Sovereignty) of) Parliament),) within) the) constitutional) jurisdiction.! This! means! that! they! can! make,! change!and!override!any!laws!made!by!previous!parliaments!or!the!courts,!so!long!as!they!remain!within!their!jurisdiction! o Can!be!affected!by!‘rubber!stamp’!situation! o Restrictions!on!Parliament:!Commonwealth!Constitution,!costs,!can!only!pass!laws!presented!to!them!

Changing The Law
The!main!aim!of!the!law!is!to!protect!out!society!and!keep!it!functioning.!The!law!also!aims!to!protect!individual!rights!and!to!stop!behavior!that!will!
ultimately!affect!the!peace!and!good!order!of!society.!Laws!also!need!to!be!able!to!outline!acceptable!behavior!and!prevent!conflict!within!society.!
Reasons)for)change)

Changing)values)in)society)

Changes)in)society)

Technological)advances)

Protection)of)society)

Extra:!Protection!of!individual!rights,!political!changes,!economic!policy!
Influences)for)change)
Most!law!reform!is!initiated!through!parliamentary!ministers,!who!take!advice!from!their!department!and!law!reform!bodies!(regarding!how!to!change!
the!law).!


Informal:!Participants!>!(individuals,!groups)!

Informal:!Methods!–!Petitions,!demonstration,!media,!court!precedent!

Formal:!Victorian!Law!Reform!–!Abortion!Commission,!Cabinet,!Government!Departments!
Effective)Laws)

Reasonable,!able!to!be!enforced,!consistent,!reflect!community!values,!must!be!known!by!the!community,!able!to!be!changed,!easily!enforced!
Legislative)Process)

Passage!of!a!bill!through!Parliament!

!

Methods for Change
Informal)means)
Courts)(precedent),)pressure)groups,)individuals,)lobby)groups,)media,)political)parties)
Method!
Method!
Method!
Petitions))
Demonstrations/Protests) Media)
A!written!request!to!
Demonstrations!are!
The!media!are!very!
parliament!for!action,! actions!by!groups!of! influential!and!play! such!as!a!need!to! people!who!join!together! a!crucial!role!in! change!an!existing!law! to!support!a!cause.!A! forming!and! or!to!pass!a!new!law.! demonstration!may!take! reflecting!public!
Accompanied!by!a!
the!form!of!a!blockade! opinion.!Individuals! collection!of!signatures! where!a!group!of!people! and!groups!often! that!show!signatories! forms!a!crowd!to!prevent! want!to!gain! to!be!concerned!about! entry!to!a!building!o!area.! publicity!to! a!specific!request.! Sometimes!a! increase!their! Must!be!presented!to! demonstration!is!referred! influence.!This!is!
Parliament,!or!a!
to!as!a!sit>in,!where! made!easier!if!the! member!of!Parliament! protestors!sit!in!a!location! issue!achieves! for!them!to!be!tabled! that!causes!maximum! media!coverage! (e.g.!E>petitions)!! disruption! E.g.!newspapers,! radio,!television! )
Formal)means)
o VLRC!and!other!law!reform!bodies! o MPs! o Cabinet!(sets!policies!of!Government)! o Government!Departments! o Parliamentary!committees! o Statutory!Bodies!(e.g.!VicRoads,!SEC,!local!council)!
!
Effectiveness)of)methods)used)by)individuals)and)groups)to)influence)change)in)the)law:)

How)much)media)attention)does)it)receive?)

How)many)methods)have)been)used)to)try)to)drive)change?)

Are)influential)people)involved)in)the)process?)

How)many)supporters)do)you)have?)

Able)to)reach)a)wide)audience/cost)effectively?)

Reasons for change

Changing)values)in)society)
As!our!values!and!attitude!change,!the!law!(to!remain!acceptable!to!the!individual!in!society)!must!change!to!keep!up!with!these!changing!values.!
For)example,!surrogacy)arrangement)–)Assisted)Reproductive)Treatment)Act)2008)–)makes)provision)for)altruistic)surrogacy)arrangement!

Changes)in)society!
Society!is!constantly!changing!and!the!laws!need!to!keep!pace!with!this!
For)example,!Summary)Offences)and)Control)of)Weapons)Act)Amendment)Act)2009)(Vic))has)been)passed)in)an)attempt)to)tackle)the)rising)incidence)of) youths)carrying)knives)–)the)new)law)includes)on)the)spot)fines)for)people)caught)carrying)illegal)weapons/knives)on)the)streets! •
Advances)in)Technology!
Changes!in!technology!necessitate!constant!changes!in!the!law!as!new!areas!of!offences!develop.!Technological!advances!can!create!new!activities!(e.g.! internet!surfing)!in!which!people!can!commit!crime!or!can!assist!in!harming!the!society!if!used!in!a!negative!manner.!! As!this!happens!there!is!often!a!need!to!regulate!the!actions!of!some!individuals!and!groups!in!order!to!protect!the!rights!of!others!
For)example,)Internet)stalking)due)to)openness)of)internet)and)lack)of)privacy,)identity)theft)(so)the)Crimes)Amendment)Identity)Crime)Act)2009)Vic)was)
passed),)controversial)use)of)human)embryos!

Greater)need)for)protection)of)the)community!
At!times!the!laws!need!to!adopt!a!paternalistic!approach!to!the!protection!of!the!community!–!laws!are!passed!because!individuals!do!not!protect!
themselves,!e.g.!seatbelts,!bike!helmets,!anti>hoon!laws.!The!community!also!needs!to!be!protected!so!that!it!can!function!in!a!harmonious!way.!
One!of!the!major!roles!of!the!law!is!to!protect!people!from!harm!so!laws!are!required!to!make!certain!actions!(actions!that!harm!others)!unlawful.!
For)example:!In)2009)the)use)of)mobile)phones)whilst)driving)was)prohibited,)Child)Amendment)(Homicide)Act)2008))increased)the)penalty)for)killing)a) child) !
!Role)of)the)VLRC)+)Structure)of)the)VLRC)

VLRC



Make) recommendations) for) law) reform) on) issues) that) have) been) referred) to) it) by) the) Attorney) General,) by) researching,) consulting) and) reporting)) Established)as)a)central)agency)for)developing)law)reform)in)Victoria)
The)VLRC)is)an)independent,)government)funded)organization)that)develops,)monitors)and)co[ordinates)law)reform)in)Victoria)
VLRC)has)a)charter)to)consult)with)the)community)and)advise)the)AG)on)how)to)improve)and)update)Victorian)Laws)
Major)responsibility:)research)issues)referred)by)AG,)BUT)can)also)recommend)minor)law)changes)with)no)reference)
Educates)the)community)on)areas)of)law)relevant)to)the)commission’s)work)






!
Law)Reform)Process)(how)they)do)it))
1)!Reference!is!received!from!the!Attorney!General!
2)!Initial!Research!is!undertaken!with!experts!in!the!area!concerned!
3)!An!information paper is!prepared!which!explains!key!issues!and!provides!a!list!of!discussion!questions!
4)!Submissions!are!invited!from!the!public,!community!organizations,!legal!bodies!and!other!interested!parties!
5) Consultations are!undertaken!with!members!of!the!community!and!relevant!experts!in!the!area!of!the!law!being!reviewed!
6)!A!final report is!published!with!recommendations!for!change!and!presented!to!the!Attorney!General!
7)!The!AG!tables!the!report!in!the!Victorian!Parliament!
8)!The!government!decides!whether!to!draft!legislation!that!incorporates!all,!some!or!none!of!the!recommendations!to!be!initiated!in!the!Victorian!
Parliament!
o Strength)of)VLRC:)Formal!influence,!thus!closer!to!parliament,!recommendations!reflect!majority!views! o Weakness)of)VLRC:)They!only!make!recommendations;!Parliament!can!choose!to!say!‘NO’!to!all!their!research!and!work!
!

Making the Law
Most!legislation!is!put!forward,!as!a!result!of!cabinet!decisions,!by!the!government.!Other!influences!on!legislative!policy!may!come!from!members!of!
parliament,!the!media,!pressure!groups,!and!law!reform!bodies.!
)
Cabinet)
Cabinet!is!comprised!of!senior!ministers,!the!Prime!Minister!(federal),!or!Premier!(state)!
1. Cabinet!plays!an!important!role!in!the!legislative!process.!Their!meetings!determine)the)law[making)policies)of)the)government!and!the!order!in! which!proposed!changes!will!be!presented!to!parliament! 2. Bills!with!cabinet!approval!are!supported)publicly!by!the!cabinet!ministers!
3. Cabinet!receives!advice!from!various!committees!and!has)extensive)resources!to!determine!the!need!for!new!laws!or!changes!to!existing!laws!
4. When!cabinet!approves!of!a!bill,!they!will!appoint)a)minister!to!be!responsible!for!the!introduction!and!passage!of!the!bill!into!parliament!
!
Types)of)Bills)
Government)Bills)–)They!are!drafted!and!introduced!into!Parliament!by!a!minister!representing!the!government,!which!puts!the!policies!decided!by!
Cabinet!into!effect!
Private)Members)Bills)–)Introduced!by!a!Member!of!Parliament!as!an!individual.!They!are!often!not!successful!because!they!do!not!have!the!backing!of!
the! government,! however! they! serve! to! bring! attention! to! particular! issues! (for! example,! the! RU486! Abortion! Pill,! and! Candy! Broad! Abortion! Bill! leading!to!a!VLRC!investigation)! Money) Bills) –) They! are! bills! concerned! with! passing! the! law! to! authorize! the! receipts! and! spending! of! the! government.! It! includes! Bills! relating! to! taxation,!government!spending,!e.g.!Budget! !
Parliamentary)Counsel/Draftsmen)
o They!are!public!servants!who!work!for!Parliament!and!have)legal)training)to)draft)Bills)for)cabinet.!The!ministers!responsible!for!the!Bill!provide! parliamentary!counsel!with!a!briefing!about!what!the!Bill!is!to!contain!and!counsel!must!act!on!these!instructions! o They! draft) legislation) and) give) effect) to) policy) decisions,! whilst! ensuring! that! the! Bill!complies) with) constitutional) powers! and! in! Victoria,! is! compatible!with!the!Victorian)Charter)of)Human)Rights!and!Responsibilities.!! o Difficulty:!Their!difficulties!involve!finding!ways!to!draft!bills!that!will!be!acceptable!to!all,!as!there!are!always!conflicting!views!about!what!the! law!should!be.!! !
Difficulties)faced)by)the)Parliamentary)Counsel)

Inadequate!instructions)

Lack)of)specialist)knowledge/technical)errors)

Lack!of!knowledge!of!existing!laws!and!court!decisions)

Anticipating)future)needs)

Gaps/loopholes)

Meaning)of)words)might)change)over)time)

Conflict!with!other!laws)

Difficult)to)accommodate)the)opinions)of)all)people)in)controversial)areas)
)
)

Passage of a Bill through Parliament
1.)Initiation)–)Introduction!of!the!Bill,!MP!responsible!for!the!Bill!gives!notice!of!intention!to!present!a!Bill!
!

First House
First Reading o o o Long!title!of!the!Bill!read!by!the!Clerk!
Sets!out!in!broad)terms)the)purpose)and)scope!of!the!Bill!
Copies!of!the!Bill!are!distributed!to!Members!of!Parliament!

Second Reading o o o o
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

Speech:)Relevant)minister)introducing)the)Bill)makes)a)speech)outlining)the)purpose)and)function)of)the)Bill)
Takes!place!immediately!after!the!First!Reading)
Provides!an!important!context!for!the!Bill!and!the!reasons!for!its!formulation)
Recorded)in)Hansard)and)may)be)used)by)Judges)who)later)interpret)the)legislation)
Statement)of)Compatibility)
Victoria)Only)
The!MP!introducing!the!bill!must!submit!a!statement!of!compatibility!which!states!if!the!Bill!is!compatible!with!the!Charter!of!Human!R&R! and!how!it!is!so.!Any!incompatibility!must!be!explained!during!the!second!reading!speech.! Debate)
Discussion!of!the!Bill!is!deferred!to)a)later)date!
Allows!for!MPs,!the!media!and!the!general!public!to!examine!the!Bill.!
When)debate)commences)the)opposition)commences)with)their)response)to)the)Bill)and)then)this)is)followed)by)responses)from)other)
MPs.)
Vote!is!held!at!the!conclusion!and!if!a!majority!supports!the!Bill!the!process!continues!

Consideration in Detail (Lower House)/Committee Stage (Upper House) o o o !
!

The!speaker!of!the!LH!or!the!President!of!the!UH)is)replaced)by)the)Chairman)of)Committees.!
The!details!of!the!Bill!are!closely!examined!and!discussed.!Every!section!and!clause!of!the!Bill!is!read!and!examined!clause!by!clause!(when!
very!controversial)!–!This!can!be!bypassed!if!members!agree!
Most!important!step!as)examined)in)detail)and)amendments)are)most)likely!
Adoption)of)the)Report)
Speaker!or!President!returns!to!the!Chair!and!asks!the!Parliament!to!accept!the!committee’s!report!

Third Reading o o o Long!title!is!read!again!and!there!may!be!some!debate!on!the!content!of!the!Bill!
MPs)vote)on)the)Bill)
If!majority!in!favor!–!bill!is!passed!in!this!house!and!proceeds!to!the!second!house!(REMEMBER:!either!Upper!or!Lower!as!bill!as!start!in!either! house)! Second House
Bill!goes!through!same!procedure!as!the!first!house!
o Initiation!–!First Reading, Second Reading, Committee Stage, Third Reading)–!then!vote! o The!second!house!may!block!the!bill!or!suggest!amendments!(particularly!if!the!Government!does!not!have!a!majority)! o Any)amendment)made)in)the)second)house)must)be)referred)back)to)the)first)house)and)the)bill)passed)in)its)new)form)in)the)first)house)

Certification/Royal Assent o o

The)Clerk)of)Parliament)certifies)the)Bill)
Bill!is!checked!and!signed!by!the!Queen’s!Representative!(Governor!General/Governor)!

Proclamation and Enactment
The!legislation!is!formally!announced!in!the!Government)Gazette!along!with!the!date!it!comes!into!effect!
!

Strengths/weaknesses
Strengths)and)weaknesses)of)parliament)as)a)lawmaker)
Strengths:) o Access)to)expert)opinion)–!wide!variety!of!sources!leading!to!well!informed!decisions!being!made) o Consultation) with) public) –! allows! community! to! be! actively! involved! and! allows! debate! so! democracy! is! upheld,! quality! of! new! laws! are! higher) o Legislating)on)an)entire)topic) o Responsive)and)flexible)–!to!accommodate!rapid,!unexpected!change!(e.g.!Quick!reactions!to!tighten!quarantine!laws!in!2009!when!swine! flu!spread)!) o Making)laws)to)cover)future,)anticipated)events)
)
Weaknesses) o Fear)of)voter)backlash)–)Controversial!issues!are!sometimes!not!handled!by!parliament!b/c!parties!fear!losing!voter!support) o Bicameral)structure)of)parliament)–)Opposition!parties!can!frustrate!the!legislative!program!purely!for!political!purposes,!much!needed!law! reform!may!be!may!be!blocked!by!opposition) Or)the)opposite)may)happen,)rubber)stamp)effect) o Parliament)is)not)always)sitting)–)reform!may!be!delayed!as!parliament!is!not!always!sitting) o Difficulties)in)drafting)legislation)–)words!contained!in!Bills!may!not!be!fully!define,!leading!the!confusion!and!lengthy!court!cases) o Inconsistencies)in)statute)laws)between)states)–)Inconsistent!laws!across!the!nation)
!

the commonwealth constitution st The!Commonwealth!of!Australia!Constitution!Act!(UK)!1900!came!into!force!on!1 !Jan!1901!at!which!time!Australia!became!a!federation!
At)federation)–)1)Jan)1901)

The!separate!colonies!became!6!states!w/!their!own!parliaments,!and)

A!central!body,!the!Commonwealth!(Federal)!Parliament!was!formed)

The!constitution!is!the!formal!document!by!which!the!processes!of!Federation!was!achieved)
)

The constitution is a set of rules that guide the way the nation is governed

In!1901,!these!6!colonies!became!states!&!transferred!some!of!their!power!to!the!Commonwealth!Government!according!to!the!new!Constitution!of!
Australia.!In!1911,!the!Commonwealth!Gov!created!the!NT!and!the!ACT.!
!

The) major) functions:) To! set! out! the! law! making! powers! of! the! Commonwealth! (Federal)! Parliament,! because! the! colonies! (they! became! states! at! federation)!already!had!law!making!powers!(in!constitutions)! >
In) order) to) allow) the) Parliaments) to) work) together) in) a) co[operative) federation,) the) Commonwealth) Constitution) set) out) (specified)) the) powers)of)the)Commonwealth)and)anything)not)specified)was)to)remain)the)law)making)power)of)the)states) >
E.g.!The!Commonwealth!parliament’s!law!making!powers!include!the!power!to!make!laws!about!immigration!and!currency!
!
The)Constitution)established)a)division)of)law[making)powers)

The)Commonwealth)Parliament,)that)would)look)after)issues)of)national)concern)(Defence,)Immigration,)Banking/Currency))

The)States)Parliaments)would)deal)with,)and)administer)important)state)issues)(Education,)Criminal!Law))
Each!state!also!has!a!constitution!that!regulates!its!Parliament.!!
!

The Commonwealth Constitution also created the High Court
The Constitution outlines:

)

o o o o The!structure!of!the!C/W!Parliament!and!composition!of!both!the!House!of!Representative!and!Senate)
Lists!the!legislative!powers!of!the!C/W!(s51!and!s52))
Gives!the!High!Court!the!power!to!interpret!the!constitution!if!the!need!arises)
The!Constitution!tells!the!Commonwealth!and!the!States!what!they!can!and!cannot!do)

Division of Powers (different to separation of powers)
Specific Powers
(Peace, order and good government of the C/W) All powers of the C/W are known as specific as they are listed (enumerated!) separately, most of which are found in S51 and S52
These!are!the!only!areas!in!which!the!C/W!can!make!laws.!It!cannot!make!laws!on!any!topic!not!allocated!to!it!in!the!Constitution!
S51!of!the!C/W!Constitution!gives!the!C/W!the!power!to!“make!laws!for!the!peace,!order,!and!good!government!of!the!C/W”! o Navy!and!military!defences! o Currency,!coinage!and!legal!tender! o External!affairs!
Of!the!specific!powers!listed!in!the!Constitution,!some!of!these!are!held!exclusively!by!the!C/W!whilst!others!are!shared!w/!the!states.!
!



Exclusive Powers
Areas of law making that only the Commonwealth can legislate on






The!states!cannot!make!laws!in!these!areas!
E.g.!Defence,!currency,!external!affairs!
They!are!specific!powers!that!are!made!exclusive!by!other!sections!within!the!Constitution!
E.g.! s51! (xii)! specifies! that! the! Commonwealth! has! the! power! to! “coin! money”! and! S115! says! that! “a! state! shall! not! coin! money”,! therefore,! currency!is!an!exclusive!power! S52!states!the!areas!in!which!the!Commonwealth!Parliament!has!exclusive!powers!–!that!is!that!only!the!C/W!can!legislate!in!these!areas! o Matters!about!the!control!of!the!public!service! o Matters!pertaining!to!the!ACT!

All!exclusive!powers!are!specific,!but!not!all!specific!powers!are!exclusive!(some!are!concurrent)!

!
Exclusive)powers)
Stated)as)exclusive:)s52!Matters!about!the!control!of!the!public!service!and!ACT!
Exclusive)by)nature:)Borrowing!money!from!the!Commonwealth!!
Exclusive)b/c)the)states)are)prohibited:))
S51!(xii)!C/W!can!make!laws!to…!!
S115!–!States!cannot!coin!own!currency!
S114!–!States!cannot…!
!

Concurrent Powers
Powers which both the C/W and the state parliaments have




Areas!of!law!making!power!that!are!shared!between!the!Commonwealth!and!state!parliaments)
State!parliaments!can!make!laws!about!some!areas!set!out!in!S51!provided!they!are!not!excluded!from!using!that!power!by!another!section!
of!the!Constitution)
Most!of!the!specific!powers!are!shared!with!the!states,!like!taxation,!marriage,!health)
o E.g.!–!Infertility!Treatment!Act!(Vic)!1995) o Sex!Discrimination!Act!(CW)!1984) o Provision!of!IVF!to!single!women)

!
What)happens)if)they)legislate)in)the)same)area?)

Section 109 – From concurrent powers
Under!s109!of!the!C/W!Constitution,!if!conflict!or!inconsistencies!occur!between!laws!made!by!the!C/W!and!laws!made!by!the!state,!

“The Commonwealth law will prevail to the extent of the inconsistency”
!
E.g.!Divorce!–!Family!Law!Act!1975!
When!C/W!chose!to!legislate!in!respect!of!divorce!because!of!a!lack!of!uniformity!amongst!the!states!–!state!laws!then!became!invalid.!Established!the!
Family!Court!(C/W)!
" S109!makes!concurrent!powers!potentially!exclusive!

"

E.g.!Lisa!Meldrum!case!
!

Residual Powers
Any power not specifically given to the Commonwealth in the Constitution belongs to the states (residual powers are not listed in the C/W Constitution)








!

The!Commonwealth!cannot!legislate!in!these!areas!
These!powers!were!left!with!the!States!at!Federation!and!comprise!the!bulk!of!the!State’s!law!making!powers!
Under!s106!–!s107!C/W!Constitution!residual!powers!are!recognized!as!belonging!to!the!states!despite!not!being!specifically!listed!in!the!C/W!
Constitution!
Residual!powers!are!outlined!as!part!of!each!state’s!constitution!
Vary!between!states!causing!inconsistencies!
E.g.!laws!regarding!use!of!mobile!phones,!and!driving!offences!
Includes!most!of!the!laws!concerning!the!day!to!day!life!of!the!Community,!e.g:!
o Education! o Environment! o Criminal!Law! o Public!Transport!

Specific restrictions/prohibitions
The!constitution!places!some!restrictions!on!the!law!making!powers!of!both!the!state!and!Commonwealth!Parliaments!

Many!of!the!restrictions!are!designed!to!protect!the!rights!of!individuals!or!the!rights!of!the!states!

E.g.!the!states!are!restricted!by!S115!that!says!they!cannot!coin!money!

The!C/W!is!restricted!by!S116!that!says!they!cannot!impose!or!prohibit!a!religion!
!
Restrictions)on)the)C/W)Parliament)
Commonwealth) Constitution) prohibits) the) C/W) Parliament) from) making) laws) on) certain) matters.) The! main! restrictions! are! concerned! with! protecting! the! rights! of! the! states! by! allowing! the! states! to! maintain! some! autonomy!and!equality! !
Other)restrictions)on)the)C/W)law)making)powers)protect)the)rights)of)individuals:)S116,!S80,!S117,!S51!(xxxi)!
!

Principle!of!the!separation!of!powers!is!also!a!restriction!on!the!C/W!as!the!C/W!cannot!form!a!body! that!combines!legislative!and!judicial!powers!–!Military!court!ruled!invalid!2009) Restrictions)on)the)State)Parliaments)
The) State) Parliaments) are) sovereign) within) their) own) jurisdictions.) The) C/W) constitution) also) places) restrictions)on)the)law[making)powers)of)the)State)Parliaments) >
S114:!States!cannot!raise!their!own!defence!forces!
>
S115:!States!cannot!coin!their!own!currency!
>
S109:! Inconsistency! between! C/W! law! and! state! law! will! see! the! C/W! law! prevail! to! the! extent! of! the! inconsistency! Changing the constitution – referendum





Under!s128!a!change!made!to!the!words!of!the!constitution!can!only!be!made!by!the!people!via!a!referendum!
A!referendum!is!a!compulsory!vote!on!a!proposed!change!to!the!wording!of!the!constitution!
It!is!democracy!a!work!as!it!is!where!the!people!have!their!say!
No!referendum!is!required!to!change!the!Victorian!Constitution!

!
Why)change)the)constitution?)
The!main!reasons!change!is!necessary:! o To!make!clear!the!rights!of!Parliament!to!create!laws!on!issues!that!were!not!contemplated!during!the!1890!debates! o To!reflect!the!needs!of!a!modern,!multicultural!society! o To!provide!for!social!cohesion!so!that!people!in!all!states!enjoy!similar!rights!
!

The process of change by referendum

)

o o o o The!procedure!for!changing!the!constitution!by!referendum!is!outlined!in!s128)
The!proposed!change!must!be!written!into!a!Bill!passed!by!both!Houses!of!Parliament)
Between!2!to!6!months!later!the!proposal!must!be!submitted!to!a!referendum!of!all!voters!in!Australia)
The!changes!are!expressed!in!one!or!more!questions!requiring!a!yes/no!on!the!ballot)

Double majority
For!a!proposal!to!succeed!–!double!majority!must!be!met!which!requires!
o The!majority!of!voters!in!Australia!to!vote!yes! o AND!the!majority!of!states!(4/6)!to!vote!yes!
!
If)the)proposal)affects)a)particular)state)an)absolute)majority)of)the)residents)of)that)state)must)vote)yes)
!
The)process)of)referendum)
The!proposal!is!then!submitted!to!the!Governor!General!for!Royal!Assent.!Once!this!is!received,!the!actual!wording!of!the!Constitution!will!be!changed.!

Factors affecting the likely success of referendums














!

Lack)of)bipartisan)support) o The! proposed! changes! most! likely! to! succeed! are! those! that! are! supported! by! both! major! parties! and! which! cover! issues! the! voting! public!can!relate!to! o If!opposing!party!is!against!the!proposal,!the!information!from!both!parties!can!become!confusing!and!the!referendum!will!face!almost! certain!defeat! o E.g.!in!1999!(republic!referendum)!John!Howard!(PM)!and!his!senior!ministers!could!not!agree!on!this!issue!
Lack)of)understanding/apathy!
o Voters!do!not!understand!the!proposed!change! o Some!people!vote!/no/!because!they!are!concerned!about!the!impact!
Timing!
o Due!to!the!expense!of!holding!a!referendum!they!are!often!held!at!the!same!time!as!an!election! o Voters!are!more!concerned!about!which!party!to!vote!into!office!which!can!take!the!focus!away!from!the!referendum!
Voter)Conservation!
o Voters!tend!to!be!conservative!and!prefer!to!accept!the!constitution!as!it!is!rather!than!vote!for!the!unknown! o People!voted!against!the!republic!because!some!people!were!unsure!about!which!model!for!the!republic!was!best!for!Australia!and!how! the!change!would!affect!their!lives! o Voters!see!referenda!as!a!grab!for!power!by!the!C/W,!especially!b/c!they!are!the!ones!promoting!change!
Double)Majority!
o This!provision!is!quite!rigid!which!makes!it!difficult!to!change!the!constitution!as!the!requirement!of!a!majority!of!electors!in!a!majority! of!states!is!difficult!to!satisfy! o 13/44!referendum!proposals!have!received!the!majority!of!voters!but!not!the!majority!of!states! o E.g.!Simultaneous!elections!(1977)!failed!
Erosion)of)State’s)rights!
o Voters!in!the!States!may!see!that!changes!are!not!in!their!interests! o 17!attempts!by!the!C/W!to!increase!their!economic!power!have!been!rejected!by!the!voters!
High)Cost!
o There!may!be!an!alternative!way!of!achieving!the!same!result! o 1996!ownership!of!guns!has!support!from!both!major!political!parties! o States!decided!to!agree!on!uniform!gun!laws!instead!(same!effect!at!no!cost)!

Impact of referendums
"
"
"
"

Since!1901,!44!proposals!to!change!the!constitution!have!been!put!to!the!people!
Only!8!have!been!successful!(less!than!20%)!
13/44!referendum!proposals!have!received!majority!support!from!the!majority!of!voters!in!Australia!but!did!not!satisfy!the!majority!of!States!
Smaller!states!tend!to!vote!against!change!

Strengths & weaknesses of the process of changing the constitution Strengths) o People)can)have)their)say)–!the!Constitution!will! only!change!if!it!has!the!support!of!the!double! majority! o Protection)of)the)smaller)states)–!Double!and! triple!majority!provision!protects!smaller!states! from!domination!by!the!larger!states! o Protection)of)the)constitution)–!process!involved! protects!the!Constitution!from!changes!being! proposed!their!have!not!been!thoroughly! considered! o Compulsory)vote:!The!views!of!the!majority!in!the! community!are!more!likely!to!be!represented!b/c! voting!is!compulsory!

Weaknesses) o Conservative)–!changes!may!have!merit!but! voters!tend!to!be!conservative!when!it!comes!to! voting!for!change.!Most!changes!relate!to!minor! changes! o Double)majority)–!Difficult!to!achieve,!13/44! received!the!support!of!the!majority!of! Australians!overall!but!not!from!states!/!1977! simultaneous!elections! o States)lack)of)power)–!to!stop!the!movement!of! power!the!only!thing!that!states!can!do!is!lobby! strongly!against!the!referendum!and!encourage! the!voters!in!their!state!to!vote!no! o Bipartisan)support)–!voters!tend!to!vote! according!to!their!political!preferences!and!the! advice!of!their!political!party!

!

Effectiveness

How)effective)has)the)method)of)referendum)been)in)changing)the)balance)of)power)b/w)the)state)and)the)C/W)Parliaments?)
YES)
# 8/44!referendums!have!been!successful!
# 3/8!were!economical!and!financial!–!for!example:!1910!state!debt,!1928!state!debt,!1946!social! services! # Division!of!power!!
# 5/8!were!social!policy!(minor)!–!for!example:!1967!Aboriginals!recognition,!1977!Retirement!age! of!Judges! NO)
$
36/44!failed/unsuccessful!
$
Less!than!20%!successful!(High!failure!rate)!
!

Examples:

Double)majority)provision)
1977!Simultaneous!elections!(62%!voters!voted!yes,!only!3/6!states!voted!yes)!
Shows!the!rigidity!of!the!process!(depends!on!smaller!states!at!times)!
!
Lack)of)Bipartisan)support)
1999!–!Republic!referendum:!Both!parties!need!to!support!proposal!
!
Timing/cost)
High!costs,!leading!to!referendums!usually!being!held!at!same!time!as!election.!Voters!pre>occupied!with!election!rather!than!referendum!

Referral of powers
This)refers)to)the)ability)of)the)states)to)refer)their)legislative)power)on)a)particular)area)to)the)Commonwealth)Parliament)under)s51!–!states!can!
refer!any!of!their!residual!law!making!powers!to!the!C/W!using!s51!(xxvi).!To!do!so!they!pass!an!Act!that!refers!its!legislative!power!to!the!C/W!on!an! area,!and!the!C/W!passes!an!act!accepting!this!power! !
Why)would)they)do)so?)
The!states!believe!that!an!area!of!law!making!is!best!dealt!with!by!the!C/W!due!to!their!expertise!or!so!that!the!laws!can!be!consistent!across!states!
(assuming!that!a!number!of!states!refer!their!powers!in!the!same!area)!
!
Impact)
Results!in!a!change!in!the!division!of!powers!between!the!states!and!the!C/W!in!favour!of!the!C/W.!
!

Evaluation of referral of powers!!
(As)a)means)of)changing)the)Division)of)Powers))
)

Strengths
#
#

#

The!states!decide!which!lawmaking!powers!are!to! be!referred) The!C/W!is!able!to!make!laws!that!benefit!the! entire!country!in!areas!not!originally!given!to! them)
Its!difficult!to!get!the!states!to!agree!to!pass!
uniform!laws!on!a!particular!area)

Weaknesses
$
$
$

States!may!regret!the!decision!to!refer!the!power! and!prefer!to!retain!control!of!the!area!of!law) The!states!can!agree!to!pass!uniform!laws!w/o! losing!their!law!making!power) It!centralizes!law!making!and!reduces!the!law! making!powers!of!the!states) )

The high court

The)High)Court,)established)under)s71)is)the)‘guardian)of)the)constitution’) o Their) role) is) to) determine) the) intentions) of) the) founders) when) they) wrote) the) Constitution) and) how) those) intentions) apply) to) the) present) circumstances) " It)does)this)by)interpreting)the)words)of)the)Constitution)and)giving)meaning)to)them)
" High)court)interpretation)of)the)Constitution)does)not)alter)the)written)words)
!
S76!gives!the!HC!the!power!to!hear!disputes!arising!under!the!constitution.!The!HC!is!required!to!interpret!the!constitution!when!a!case!is!brought! before!them.!This!may!occur!when:! •
There!is!a!dispute!over!constitutional!power!

Either!a!state!challenges!the!Commonwealth,!or!

The!C/W!challenges!a!state,!or!

An!individual!challenges!the!C/W!
Example!>!Brislan!1935!s51!(v)!
!

Significance of High Court Decisions




Originally!the!High!Court!was!very!conservative!in!its!interpretation!of!the!Constitution!
Trend!change!in!1920!“Engineers!Case”!–!the!High!Court!used!a!broader!interpretation!
As!a!result!the!powers!under!s51!were!widened,!giving!the!C/W!more!law!making!power!

!
Tied)Grants)s96)C/W!%!moving!into!residual!powers!area!

The!C/W!has!the!right!to!“grant!financial!assistance!to!any!state!on!such!terms!and!conditions!as!the!government!thinks!fit”!

This!includes!tied!grants!or!special!purpose!grants!and!grants!made!as!a!result!of!the!First!Uniform!Tax!case!to!compensate!for!the!loss!of!
income!tax!

In!doing!so!the!C/W!can!now!have!influence!over!areas!of!residual!power!
External)affairs)–)Tasmanian)Dams)Case)

Issue!of!national!concern!

C/W!had!signed!an!international!treaty!

C/W!legislated!to!ratify!the!terms!of!the!treaty!
!

External affairs




Issue!of!national!concern!
International!Treaty!signed!by!the!C/W!
Ratification!of!the!treaty!by!implementing!legislation!

!
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C/W!moved!into!an!area!considered!a!state!residual!power!
High!court!interpretation!–!under!external!affairs!power!it!was!allowed!to…![Example]!

!
Sign)overseas)treaty)%)Make)laws)%)Override)Residual)powers)
!
Today!this!power!is!seen!as!providing!the!C/W!Parliament!with!power!to!make!laws!about!matters!physically!external!to!Australia!and!laws!affecting!
Australia’s!relations!with!other!nations.!!
!
This)power)enabled)the)Commonwealth)to)legislate)to)implement)Australia’s)obligations)under)international)agreements.)
!
The! extension! of! this! power! by! the! High! Court! has! also! enabled! the! Commonwealth! to! make! laws! about! matters! that! have! traditionally! been! considered!the!residual!powers!by!the!states! !

Impact of High Court Decisions

Roads)Case)(1926))–)Confirmed!the!right!of!the!C/W!to!give!tied!grants!allowing!the!c/w!to!move!into!areas!of!residual!powers!
Uniform)Tax)Case)(1942))–)C/W!gained!financial!power!
Franklin)Dam)Case)(1983))–)C/W!able!to!move!into!areas!originally!left!w/!the!States!(residual!powers)!
!
Paved!the!way!for!the!C/W!to!legislate!in!areas!where!there!was!an!international!treaty!to!implement!the!terms!of!the!treaties!
!

Changing the BOP from States to C/W
S109) –) Any! legislation! passed! by! the! C/W! that! is! in! an! area! of! concurrent! powers! and! which! conflicts! with! State! Legislation,! overrides! the! State!
Legislation!in!areas!where!the!conflict!exists!(taxation)!
Referral)of)Power)–)States!can!refer!their!power!to!the!C/W,!Family!Law!Amendment!Act!1987!implemented!the!referral!of!power!from!the!states!in! relation!to!ex>nuptial!children! Financial)Dominance)–)The!C/W!can!use!financial!dominance!to!gain!support!from!the!States!
Tied)Grants)–)The!C/W!can!use!its!power!to!give!tied!grants!under!s96!and!can!influence!how!money!is!spent!by!the!states!
S128)–)Change)to)the)Constitution)–)A!successful!referendum!can!be!passed!to!change!the!constitution!to!give!the!Commonwealth!greater!power!
Unchallenged)legislation)–)C/W!can!pass!legislation!that!may!be!“ultra!vires”!(outside!its!powers,!but!it!will!stand!if!not!challenged)!

Overview of the high court
Role)in)interpreting)the)Constitution)
o To!act!as!a!guardian!of!the!Constitution) o To!keep!the!Constitution!up!to!date) o To!act!as!a!check!and!balance!on!any!injustices!that!may!arise!or!any!abuse!of!power) o To!give!meaning!to!the!words!in!the!constitution!and!apply!the!constitution!to!everyday!situations)
)

Analysis of High Court Interpretation as a means of Changing Law-Making powers
)
Strength) o A!matter!can!be!dealt!with!when!a!case!is!brought! before!the!court!as!an!injustice!can!be!rectified! o The!High!Court!Judges!are!experts!in! constitutional!law! o The!High!Court!can!act!as!a!check!against!any! abuse!of!power!by!the!states!or!the!C/W! o The!High!Court!can!keep!the!constitution!relevant! and!up!to!date!by!interpreting!the!words!in!the! constitution!

Weakness) o The!High!Court!cannot!change!the!words!in!the!
Constitution)
o The!High!Court!must!wait!for!a!relevant!case!to!be! brought!before!the!courts!before!it!can!interpret! the!words!in!the!Constitution) o The!party!bringing!the!case!must!have!standing) o The!High!Court!may!be!conservative!in!its! interpretation!of!the!constitution!and!therefore! changes!may!not!be!made)

Protection of Rights under the C/W Constitution









A)right)is!something!an!individual!is!entitled!to!–!enforceable!by!law!
Democratic)rights)protect!the!democratic!processes!such!as!the!right!to!vote!
Human)rights)protect!individuals!against!the!actions!of!government!that!interfere!with!fundamental!freedoms! o “Rights”!are!often!taken!for!granted!in!places!like!Australia!that!are!considered!to!be!democracies! o Australia)does!not!have!a!document!that!lists!our!rights!–!we!do!not!have!a!“Bill!of!Rights”! o Our)rights!are!often!referred!to!as!freedoms!–!meaning!that!we!are!free!to!do!anything!in!Australia!as!long!as!the!law!does!not!prohibit! it! In)Australia,!we!are!used!to!having!our!freedom!of!religion,!speech,!association!and!so!on.!!
Because)Australians!do!not!have!a!bill!of!rights,!we!rely!on!other!methods!to!protect!our!freedoms!and!rights!
o Our!rights!are!protected!by!Statue!law,!international!law!(treaties),!common!law!(judges)!and!the!Constitution! o Vulnerable)–!each!of!these!methods!of!protecting!our!rights!is!vulnerable!because!Parliament!is!able!to!pass!legislation!that!override! common!law,!statue!law!and!our!moral!obligations!under!treaties! Means)by)which)the)Constitution)protects)rights,)including:!) o Structural!Protections,!Express!Rights,!Implied!Rights) o Structural)Protections:!Responsible!Government,!Separation!of!Powers,!Representative!Government!–!s7,!s24,!Section!128)

How are our rights protected in Australia?

o o )

o o o

The)Constitution)mentions!some!of!our!rights)
International)treaties)–)rights!are!outlined!in!international!treaties!that!Australia!has!signed,!for!example,!the!UN!Declaration!of!Human!Rights!
and!International!Convention!on!the!Rights!of!the!Child)
Common)law)–)For!example,!the!right!to!silence,!right!to!fair!trial)
CW)and)State)legislation)–)seek!to!protect!the!rights!of!Australians!(e.g.!anti>discrimination!legislation))
State)or)territory)Bill)of)Rights)–)Victoria’s!Charter!of!Human!Rights!and!Responsibilities)

Structural Protections





Created)by)the!founders!who!created!a!system!of!checks!and!balances!)
Designed)to!ensure!good!government)
Avoids!governmental!power!being!concentrated!for!a!few)
Prevents!abuse!of!power)
o These!protections!protect!the!rights!of!the!community!and!individuals!! o The!systems!or!mechanisms!in!the!Constitution!that!indirectly!protect!human!rights!by!preventing!the!abuse!of!power) o Separation!of!Powers,!Responsible!and!Representative!Government,!Section!128)

)
Representative)Government:)Some!Constitutional!structures!are!designed!to!prevent!power!from!being!concentrated!in!the!hands!of!a!few.!)
o Persons!elected!to!Parliament!to!form!government!should!look!after!the!views!and!interests!of!the!people!governed) o Sections)7)and)24!require!that!members!of!the!parliament!be!“directly!chosen!by!the!people”) o This)structure)indirectly)protects)human)rights)as)it:)
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Answerable)[)prevents!governments!from!abusing!power!by!making!them!answerable!to!the!people!at!elections)
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Representative)–)ensuring!that!members!of!Parliament!represent!the!views!and!needs!of!those!who!voted!them!in) o Guarantee)[)The!Constitution!does!not!guarantee!the!right!to!vote) o The)people)[)It!provides!that!the!Senate!and!House!of!Reps!will!be!“directly!chosen!by!the!people”!(Sections!7!and!24),!however!at!federation!
“people”!did!not!include!women,!aborigines!or!men!under!21)
o Who)can)vote)[)Exactly!who!can!vote!is!determined!by!C/W!legislation!–!Section)8)and)30)of!the!Constitution!gives!Parliament!the!power!to! legislate!to!decide!who!may!vote!in!an!election) o “Directly)chosen)by)the)people”!–!the!Constitution!implies!that!a!substantial!proportion!of!the!population!must!be!able!to!participate!in!the! electoral!process) o Checks)and)Balances)[)such!as!both!houses!must!agree!to!pass!legislation) o Separation)of)powers)–)Political!powers!of!the!government!are!separate!from!the!judiciary.!)
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Those!who!enforce!the!laws!(judiciary)!should!be!independent!of!the!government!so!that!they!enforce!the!law!fairly!and!treat!all!parties!
(including!the!government)!equally.!)
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This!is!an!important!democratic!principle!that!ensures!institutions!such!as!the!judiciary!and!parliament!are!protected!from!being!corrupt)
)

Implied Rights





!

The)High)Court!has!considered!that!some!rights!may!be!implied!by!the!Constitution!
Involves)drawing!implications!from!the!words!of!the!Constitution!
Meaning)–)it!was!intended!by!the!founders!of!the!Constitution!but!not!explicitly!stated!
Informed)[)The!HC!has!decided!that!in!order!for!structures!like!representative!government!to!be!effective,!people!need!to!be!informed!about!
the!candidates!they!vote!for!
Even)if)not)written)[)Even!though!it!is!not!written!into!the!Constitution,!the!Court!has!implied!a!right!which!is!designed!to!ensure!effective!
representative!government!

Express Rights


Some)rights!in!the!Constitution!are!expressly!stated;!hence!they!are!called!‘express!rights’.!These)rights)are)deliberately)written)into)the)
Constitution!
Some)of)these)rights!are!restrictions!on!the!Commonwealth,!and!can!only!be!removed!via!referendum!
Can)only)be)removed)via!a!referendum!



!
1))Acquisition)of)Property)on)just)terms)(s51)xxxi))–)Commonwealth)
o The)CW!can!make!laws!to!acquire!property!from!individuals!on!‘just!terms’) o This)section!recognizes!that!there!may!be!reasons!why!Parliament!needs!to!acquire!property!from!a!individual) o They)can)only!take!the!property!for!a!purpose!in!which!it!has!the!power!to!make!laws,!e.g.!national!parks!or!road) o Compensation)–)They!must!also!give!compensation!that!is!reasonable!and!fair!in!the!circumstances) o It!does!not!apply!to!the!acquisition!of!property!by!State!Governments)
2))Freedom)on)Interstate)Trade)and)Commerce)(s92))–)Commonwealth)and)States)
o Free)trade)[)Provides!that!trade!shall!be!free!among!the!states!and!restricts!the!imposition!of!taxes!on!goods!moving!from!one!state!to! another) o People)[)Primarily!refers!to!trade!and!commerce!but!it!can!also!refer!to!the!movement!of!people!between!states) o This!is!more!of!a!restriction!on!economic!activity!rather!than!a!fundamental!democratic!or!human!right)
3))Trial)by)Jury)for)Commonwealth)Indictable)Offences)(s80))–)Commonwealth)
o This)is)a)limited)right!because!most!indictable!offences!are!crimes!under!state!law) o Indictable!has!been!ruled!by!the!HC!to!mean!“crimes!on!indictment”!the!Government!can!avoid!this!by!legislating!for!the!offence!to!be! a!summary!offence) 4))Freedom)of)Religion)(s116))–)Commonwealth) o Under!this!section!the!CW!cannot)make)a)law!establishing!any!religion;! o Imposing!religious!observance! o That!requires!a!person!to!have!a!particular!religious!belief!in!order!to!be!employed!by!the!Commonwealth! o Also!protects!non>believers!to!the!right!to!have!no!religion!

5))Freedom)from)Interstate)discrimination)(s117))–)Commonwealth)and)States) o It)is)unlawful!for!the!states!and!CW!governments!to!discriminate!against!someone!on!the!basis!of!the!state!in!which!that!person!resides) o Gives)protection!to!Australian!Citizens!from!being!discriminated!against!on!the!basis!of!the!state!on!which!they!live)
)

Express)rights!protect!Australian!from!the!CW!(and!the!State!Parliaments!in!some!instances)!passing!legislation!that!removes!these!rights)

These)rights!can!only!be!changed!or!removed!by!amending!the!Constitution!by!a!successful!referendum)
)
Is)there)a)process)to)protect)rights?)Before!the!CW!Parliament!passes!bills!they!are!subject!to!legislative!scrutiny!by!a!standing!committee!who!try!to!
ensure!that!the!proposed!legislation!is!not!contrary!to!protected!constitutional!rights.!
!

Significance of Roach

High!Court!decision!affirmed!a!constitutional!right!to!vote!for!adult!members!of!the!Australian!Community,!which!is!protected!by!the!structure!of! representative!government.!Representative!government!acts!as!a!limit!on!the!powers!of!the!CW!who!cannot!legislate!away!the!right!to!vote!without! good!reason.!

Evaluate the effectiveness of our protection
YES)

NO)
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Structural)
Protection!–!
Representative!
Government!
S7)and)S24!–!
“directly!chosen!by!
the!people”!
S128!–!Constitution!
must!be!changed! by!the!people! Separation)of)
Powers)
Can’t)override) decision)of) invalidity)by)High)
Court)

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Limited!(1!implied!right,!5! express!rights,!various! structural!protections),! they!are!restrictions!on!the! Commonwealth)
No)remedies)available)for!
people!whose!rights!have! been!infringed) Separation)of)Powers)–!no! advisory!opinions) No)Bill)of)Rights)and!what! we!do!have!is!very!limited) Our!rights!are)vulnerable) to!change!(statue!law,! common!law,!international! treaties)) )

Things to talk about for certain questions
1))Explain)how)rights)are)protected)under)the)C/W)Constitution)
Various!structural!protections,!5!express!rights,!1!implied!right!(HC!interpretation),!provide!examples!of!each,!mention!that!they!are!‘entrenched’!and! can!only!be!changed!via!referendum,!no!Bills!of!Rights! 2))Explain)the)extent)to)which)rights)are)protected)under)the)C/W)Constitution)
Entrenched!right,!cannot!override!‘declaration!of!invalidity’,!must!be!changed!via!referendum,!no!remedies,!limited;!tells!C/W!what!they!cannot!do!
instead!of!what!they!can!do!(s116,!s80,!etc.),!states!not!bound!by!same!restrictions,!HC!interpretation!may!change!
3))Evaluate)the)effectiveness)of)the)protection)of)rights)in)the)C/W)Constitution)
The!Protection!of!Rights!in!the!CW!Constitution!are!limited!as!we!do!not!have!a!Bill!of!Rights,!however!they!are!mostly!entrenched!and!difficult!for!
Parliament!to!change!alone.!We!only!have!5!express!rights,!however!they!are!restrictions!on!the!CW.!Six!other!points:!No!Bill!of!Rights,!no!advisory!
opinions,!limited!rights!(Restrictions!on!CW,!not!states),!S128,!Representative!government!S7!and!s24!(structural!protections),!Parliament!cannot! override!(strengthens/upholds!SoP)! !

The Doctrine of Precedent
The)doctrine)of)precedent)is)a)set)of)rules)that)require)courts)to)follow)precedents)in)order)to)determine)the)rules)of)the)common)law.))

A!precedent!is!a!reported!judgment!that!establishes!a!new!point!of!law!that!must!be!followed!in!lower!courts!in!the!same!hierarchy!unless!the!
facts!of!the!case!are!so!different!that!the!case!can!be!distinguished.!!
)

PROBSPRODD

Precedent,!Ratio!Decidendi,!Obiter!Dictum,!Binding,!Stare!Decisis,!Persuasive!Precedent,!Reversing,!Overruling,!Distinguishing,!Disapproving!
)
The)Court)Hierarchy:)High!Court!of!Australia,!Court!of!Appeal,!Supreme!Court,!County!Court,!Magistrates!Court!

Key Principles of Precedent
Ratio Decidendi
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The!reason!for!a!judge’s!decision!(the!“why”,!the!“outcome”,!which!creates!the!legal!principle))
The!binding!part!of!the!judgment)
Regarded!as!a!statement!of!law!to!be!followed!in!the!future)

Obiter Dictum
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“Things!said!by!the!way”)
Statements!made!by!the!judge!that!are!not!binding)

Not!part!of!the!decision)
Statement!may!be!influential!on!decisions!in!the!future)

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Binding Precedents
Courts!are!bond!by!the!precedents!that!are!set!by!courts!higher!in!the!hierarchy!where!the!facts!of!the!cases!are!so!similar!that!they!cannot!be!
distinguished.!!
Same!hierarchy;!not!bound!by!precedent!
High!Court!of!Australia!is!not!bound!by!its!own!previous!decisions!

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Stare Decisis
Means!to!stand!by!what!has!been!decided)
Lower!courts!follow!the!decisions!of!the!higher!courts!in!“like!cases”)
Judges!stand!by!the!decision!of!other!judges!in!similar!cases)
This!ensures!consistency!as!judges!decide!similar!cases!in!the!same!way)
Rule!relating!to!Stare!Decisis:)
o Precedents!can!only!be!set!by!a!higher!court!(usually!when!exercising!appellate!jurisdiction) o All!lower!courts!are!bound!by!decisions!of!higher!courts!in!the!same!hierarchy) o Decisions!of!courts!at!the!same!level/equal!standing!are!not!binding)

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The)interpretation)of)statutes)may)become)a)legal)principle)because)it)contributes)to)a)judge’s)reason)for)his/her)decision)(E.g.!An!engaging!case)!
!

Precedents are made in “superior courts of record”

This!means!that!the!court!must!be!high!enough!in!the!hierarchy!to!record!the!decisions!made!in!it)
In!Victoria!all!courts!in!the!court!hierarchy!from!the!Supreme!Court!and!above!are!courts!of!superior!records)
Law!making!through!the!courts!generally!occurs!when!a!court!is)
Hearing!an!appeal)
Is!hearing!a!civil!case!without!a!jury)

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Persuasive Precedents
Influential/not!binding!
Seen!as!a!point!of!reference!
Give!an!indication!of!how!other!judges!think!the!law!should!be!
Obiter!Dictum!
These!principles!or!precedents!do!not!have!to!be!followed!because:!they!come!from!other!jurisdictions!/!From!courts!that!are!lower!than!or!
equal!to!the!court!making!the!decision!or!obiter!

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Role of Judges

With regard to the doctrine of precedent, judges:
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Analyse!judgments!from!previous!cases!
Determine!which!of!these!precedents!are!potentially!binding!(focus!on!these)!
Extract!the!Ratio!Decidendi!from!the!appropriate!binding!precedent!and!apply!it!to!the!present!case!!
Adapt!and!modify!an!existing!Ratio!Decidendi!if!the!facts!vary!
Refer!to!existing!persuasive!precedents!and!adopt!the!most!suitable!ruling!if!there!are!no!binding!precedents!
Develop!an!entirely!new!precedent!if!binding!or!persuasive!precedents!from!earlier!cases!are!not!applicable!to!the!present!case!

Techniques to Develop Precedent
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Precedents!can!be!developed!over!time!by!judges!in!a!series!of!cases!(e.g.!law!of!negligence))
Judges!listen!to!the!argument!of!counsel!and!must!give!a!reason!of!the!decision)
Judges!have!some!options!when!working!with!precedents!that!counsel!argue!are!binding)
Follow!the!binding!precedent)
Distinguish!the!binding!precedent!from!the!case!they!are!deciding)

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Lower courts rely on higher courts to decide the law.
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This!may!give!the!impression!that!the!law,!once!stated!by!a!court,!can!never!be!changed!or!modified.!THIS!IS!NOT!TRUE.!

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Approaches judges use to ensure the law avoids injustices and keeps pace with society.
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Precedents)can)be)developed)or)avoided)through:)
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Reversing!
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Overruling!
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Distinguishing!
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Disapproving!
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R.O.D.D.

Reversing
Same)case)heard)again)in)a)higher)court)
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Where!a!higher!court!hears!a!case!on!appeal!and!decides!that!the!lower!court!which!had!heard!the!case!has!wrongly!decided!the!case,!it!will!
reverse!the!decision!
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The!ratio!Decidendi!of!the!lower!court!is!no!longer!valid.!It!is!replaced!by!a!higher!court!

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Overruling
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A!case!may!come!before!a!higher!court!that!relies!on!a!legal!principle!that!has!been!formed!in!an!earlier!case!decided!in!a!lower!court)
The!judge!presiding!in!the!higher!court!may!believe!that!the!earlier!case!has!been!wrongly!decided!and!the!higher!court!would!not!follow!the!
precedent!set!by!the!lower!court)
When!a!higher!court!decides!not!to!follow!the!decision!of!a!lower!court!in!a!previous!case,!the!higher!court!is!said!to!overrule!the!earlier!
decision)

Distinguishing
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Where!the!facts!of!a!case!are!sufficiently!different!from!a!previous!case,!the!decision!in!the!previous!case!will!not!be!considered!binding)
No!two!cases!are!exactly!the!same)
Provided!a!judge!is!satisfied!that!the!facts!of!a!case!are!sufficiently!different!that!an!injustice!would!result!from!the!application!of!the!earlier! precedent,!then!distinguishing!is!considered!an!appropriate!means!of!avoiding!the!use!of!that!precedent) This!process!allows!for!the!continued!development!of!the!common!law!to!meet!new!situations)

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Disapproving
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Courts!at!the!same!level!are!not!bound!by!each!other’s!decisions)
If!a!precedent!is!binding!on!a!judge!then!they!must!follow!it,!but!they!may!say!they!disapprove!of!the!precedent!(In!doing!so!they!must!say!
why))
Where!a!judge!in!a!court!refuses!to!follow!an!earlier!decision!of!another!judge!at!the!same!level,!they!are!said!to!have!disapproved!the!
decision)

Judges Ability to Make Laws

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Judges)are)bound)by)precedent)–)if)a)precedent)is)applicable)they)must)follow)it)
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Courts!can!only!make!a!new!precedent!when!they!hear!a!case!on!which!there!is!no!clear!statement!of!law!by!the!Courts!or!Parliament)
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Unlike!Parliament!they!cannot!make!a!law!as!an!immediate!response!to!community!demand!or!when!a!need!is!perceived)
A)new)precedent)may)occur:)
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In!a!novel!case!(a!legal!question!that!has!not!been!decided!before).!That!is,!there!is!no!existing!legal!precedent,!e.g.!Donoghue!vs.!Stevenson)
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In!a!court!of!superior!record!(not!all!courts!can!develop!legal!principles))
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The!judge!is!prepared!to!adopt!a!law>making!role!(Trigwell))
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Parties!are!prepared!to!take!a!matter!to!court!where!the!outcome!is!uncertain.!The!parties!must!have!sufficient!resources!to!take!a!case!to!court! when!the!outcome!is!unknown) )

Strengths and Weaknesses of Precedent
Strengths)–)Consistency,!certainty,!growth!in!the!law,!flexibility,!efficiency!
Weaknesses)–)Inconsistency,!lack!of!certainty,!growth!in!the!law,!lack!of!flexibility,!inefficiency!
!

Consistency/Inconsistency
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All)litigants)are)treated)consistently)by)the)courts)
Bound)to)follow)established)legal)principles)
Facts)are)similar)–)consistent)decisions)
However:!
Outcomes!may!not!always!be!consistent!
The!case!may!appear!similar!to!earlier!cases!but!the!processes!of!overruling,!reversing,!disapproving!and!distinguishing!may!result!in!a!very!
different!decision!

!

Certainty/Uncertainty
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People)know)what)the)law)is)in)a)particular)situation)
Using)past)decisions,)lawyers)can)advise)clients)confidently)on)the)legal)standing)of)a)given)legal)problem)
Can)predict)the)outcome)of)a)case)
However:)
Precedent!is!based!on!reference!to!previous!court!decisions!where!the!facts!of!the!case!are!similar)
Uncertainty!for!litigants!as!no!two!cases!are!exactly!the!same)
Courts!may!use!minor!differences!to!distinguish!the!present!case!from!earlier!ones)
Precedent!may!be!R.O.D.D)
Need!to!examine!a!number!of!cases!to!precisely!determine!the!legal!principle!that!is!applicable)

Growth in the Law
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Times)change,)so)do)community)attitudes)and)values)
Judges)do)make)laws,)e.g.)Donoghue)V)Stevenson)which)laid)the)foundation)for)the)tort)of)negligence)by)establishing)that)a)duty)of)care)
exists)
Areas)of)law)develop)and)grow)as)cases)of)similar)facts)occur)and)precedents)are)extended)
However:)
Precedent!is!dependent!on!litigants!bringing!a!case!before!the!courts)
Litigation!is!slow,!time!consuming!and!expensive)
Much!quicker!to!enact!legislation!compared!to!establishing!precedent)

Flexibility/Inflexibility
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Judges)can)exercise)judicial)creativity)and)change)the)law)where)it)has)become)outdated)
They)can)demonstrate)willingness)to)make)laws)in)areas)where)there)is)no)existing)law)
R.O.D.D.)
Provides)for)flexibility)allowing)each)case)to)be)determined)on)the)merits)of)the)facts)
Precedents)can)be)changed)by)superior)courts)
However:)
Precedents!bind!courts!to!previous!decisions!where!the!facts!are!similar)
Inflexible!system!when!judges!are!reluctant!to!depart!from!outdated!or!inappropriate!precedents!e.g.!Justice!Bollen!–!rape!in!marriage)
Judges!are!conservative!by!nature!and!prefer!to!follow!earlier!decisions!e.g.!Trigwell)

)

Statutory Interpretation

Judges!contribute!to!the!law!because!we!are!a!common!law!country!
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Law!made!by!judges!are!called!‘precedent’!
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When!judges!make!law!they!set!legal!principles!for!other!judges!to!follow!
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Interpretation!of!statutes!contributes!to!precedent!
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Judges!can!contribute!to!laws!in!which!ways!Parliament!cannot!
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Courts:!Precedent!+!statutory!interpretation!
!
What)is)a)statute?)Parliament>made!legislation!

Why do statutes need to be interpreted?
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Problems related to defining words
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The!words!and!phrases!in!acts!attempt!to!cover!a!broad!range!of!issues!so!the!courts!must!decide!on!the!meaning!according!to!the!intention!of! the!act) Words!may!not!be!defined!in!the!act!(offensive!behavior))
Language!is!by!its!nature!imprecise!–!words!may!change!in!meaning!over!time,!for!example,!Gardner!2003!–!debate!about!the!term!‘medical!
treatment’)
Davies)V)Waldron)1989!–!What!does!the!phrase!“start!to!drive”!and!“being!in!charge”!mean?!The!court!found!that!the!words!“start!to!drive”!
meant!to!cause!the!engine!to!fire!and!that!“in!charge!of!the!vehicle”!meant!sitting!in!the!driver’s!seat)
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The act may be silent on an issue and the courts need to fill in gaps
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Whilst!an!act!tries!to!cover!all!situations!that!might!arise!this!may!not!always!be!possible!as!some!situations!may!arise!that!were!not!foreseen)
Infertility)Treatment)Act)1995)–)Makes!it!unlawful!to!give!or!receive!a!payment!or!reward!in!relation!to!a!surrogacy!arrangement,!but!does!not!
state!whether!it!is!illegal!to!act!as!a!surrogate!for!a!friend)
Marriage)Act)1961)–)Does!not!define!the!meaning!of!a!man!and!a!woman,!what!about!transgender!people,!are!they!included?!(Those!who!
change!gender!after!birth))

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Time pressures in drafting legislation
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There!may!have!been!pressure!to!draft!the!Act!in!a!hurry,!resulting!in!vague!or!ambiguous!wording!within!the!Act)
There!may!also!have!been!little!opportunity!to!check!the!legislation!after!drafting!which!may!result!in!loopholes)
Crimes!Act!deals!with!the!sexual!exploitation!of!mentally!impaired!people.!A!witness!is!required!to!support!the!victim’s!evidence!before!the! offender!could!be!prosecuted) Unlikely!to!have!witnesses!so!no!cases!could!be!prosecuted)
Act!had!to!be!amended)

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The meaning of words change over time
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Legal!meaning!of!the!words!‘man’!and!‘woman’!have!changed!over!time)
Medical!technology!makes!it!possible!for!a!person!to!change!gender!after!birth)
When!they!change!their!gender!what!are!they?)

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The act may not take into account future circumstances
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The!constitution!gives!the!Commonwealth!the!power!to!legislate!over!the!‘naval!and!military!defence!of!the!Commonwealth’)
This!section!does!not!refer!to!the!air!force!as!it!was!not!envisaged!at!the!time)
Brislan!case!–!postal,!telegraphic!and!other!like!services!were!interpreted!to!include!TV!and!radio)

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When interpreting Statutes, judges must consider
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Parliament’s!intention!when!passing!the!statute!
Parliament’s!intention!when!it!makes!legislation!is!to!represent!the!views!of!the!people!(responsible!and!representative!law!maker)!
The!purpose!of!legislation!

Courts employ a variety of sources to gain a thorough understanding of whatever it is they are interpreting !

Intrinsic)Materials)
Within)the)statute)itself)
o Headings! o Long!title!of!the!Act! o Preamble!

Extrinsic)Materials)
Outside)the)legislation)that)can)be)used)to)assist)in)the)interpretation)of)the)act)
o Parliament!debates!recorded!in!Hansard!! o Second!Reading!Speech! o Reports!from!Committees!and!law!reform!bodies!

o

Words!of!the!Act!

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Dictionaries!
Guidance!provided!by!the!Interpretation!Acts!!
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Interpretation!of!Legislation!Act!1984!(Vic)!
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Acts!Interpretation!act!1901!(Cth)!
Halsbury’s!Law!of!England!(encyclopedia!of!laws)!

Other rules
Common)law)rules)–)developed!by!the!courts!to!assist!them!in!interpreting!the!meaning!of!the!legislation!
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Edjusdem)Generis)–)class!rule,!used!when!there!are!several!specific!terms!which!are!then!followed!by!more!general!terms,!e.g.!“burning,!tearing!or!
otherwise!destroying!a!will”!
Words!are!assumed!to!have!their!current!meaning!

The effect of statutory interpretation

!
When)a)court)interprets)an)Act)it)gives)meaning)to)the)words)or)terms)used)in)the)Act.)The)words)in)the)Act)do)not)alter.))
o The)immediate)effect)of)statutory)interpretation)is)that)the)meaning)of)the)Act)is)determined)in)order)to)settle)a)dispute.)
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Form a precedent
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When!judges!interpret!statutes!their!decision!creates!a!new!precedent!that!becomes!binding!on!lower!courts!in!the!same!hierarchy)
The!Act!and!the!interpretation!of!it!becomes!law)
In!this!way!courts!become!law>makers,!e.g.!Tasmanian!Dam’s!Case)

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Parliament can override the law made by Courts
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As!the!sovereign!law!maker,!Parliament!can!change!the!law!made!by!courts!in!they!believe!the!court’s!interpretation!are!inconsistent!with! their!intention!by!passing!new!legislation) Effect!is!to!cancel!the!precedent!set!by!a!court)
DeSales!V!Ingrilli!2002!pp!116)

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Words are ‘brought to life’
The!interpretation!of!a!word!or!phrase!in!a!statute!does!not!alter!the!Act!itself!–!only!the!meaning!of!the!word!is!changed!
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A narrow interpretation may restrict the law to cover only certain situations
The!precedent!set!by!Deing!V!Tarola!restricted!the!definition!of!a!regulated!weapon!so!that!a!studded!belt,!if!worn!to!hold!up!trousers!is!not!
considered!to!be!a!weapon!
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A wide interpretation of the statute may extend the law
This!allows!for!a!new!situation!or!area!of!law!to!be!covered.!E.g.!The!Franklin!Dam!decision!extended!the!interpretation!of!external!affairs!to!include!
areas!covered!by!international!treaties!
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Statutory Interpretation

Why is the HC not bound by its own previous decisions?
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To!avoid!the!law!from!becoming!‘stuck!in!a!rut’)
To!avoid!the!law!from!becoming!outdated!and!inflexible)

When a case appears before the court, the Judge examines the relevant laws relating to the case. o o

o
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Legislation:)Judges!interpret!legislation!to!apply!to!facts!in!the!case!using!aids!(including!existing!interpretations),!court!creates!new!precedent)
Common)Law)(precedent):)Examine!existing!precedents!–!binding!or!persuasive!precedents)
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Binding)precedent:)Follow!precedent,!or!distinguish!and!create!new!precedent)
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Persuasive)precedent:)Follow!precedent,!or!ignore!and!create!a!new!precedent)
No)legislation/Case)Law:)Dismiss!the!case,!or!set!a!new!precedent)

Courts.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Law Making through the Courts
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Strengths

)
Consistency)and)Certainty)
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The!operation!of!the!Doctrine!of!Precedent!and!interpretation!of!legislation!ensures!consistency!
>
Principle)of)Stare)Decisis)ensures)that)similar)cases)are)dealt)with)in)similar)ways)as)judges)‘stand)by’)what)has)been)previously)decided)when)
deciding)cases)that)come)before)them.)
>
Provides!an!element!of!certainty!as!lawyers!can!advise!their!clients!as!to!the!likely!outcome!of!a!dispute,!in!the!knowledge!that!established! principles!will!be!used! >
Precedents)are)made)the)most)senior)and)experienced)judges)whose)decisions)are)binding)on)judges)in)lower)courts)
Flexibility)
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The!law!is!kept!from!becoming!too!rigid!–!its!is!able!to!be!changed!

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Judicial)creativity)–)judges)are)able)to)use)the)techniques)of)reversing,)overruling)and)distinguishing)to)avoid)following)outdated)precedents)
>
The!courts!are!able!to!change!the!law!to!prevent!it!from!becoming!outdated,!when!a!case!is!brought!before!them!
Free)from)political)pressure)
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Judges)are)appointed,)they)are)not)elected)so)they)are)able)to)objectively)assess)the)most)appropriate)law)for)the)case)they)are)adjudicating))
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Independent!and!unbiased!–!allows!them!to!make!more!objective!assessments.!Deliver!a!ruling!no!matter!how!controversial!the!issue!is!–!e.g.!in! relation!to!abortion! >
They)only)need)to)consider)the)arguments)put)forward)by)counsel)involved)in)the)case)
Develop)Areas)of)Laws)
>
Courts!are!able!to!develop!the!law!in!order!to!keep!it!applicable!to!changing!times!–!e.g.!law!of!negligence!
>
Case)law)is)developed)by)expert)judges)who)bring)a)wealth)of)experience)in)law)making)
>
Courts!create!law!when!there!is!no!existing!common/statute!law!and!when!a!case!is!brought!before!them!
Must)make)a)decision)
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Courts)are)able)to)make)laws)quickly)when)a)case)is)brought)before)them)
>
They!must!settle!the!disputes,!they!cannot!defer!the!decision!for!another!time!and!in!doing!so,!may!prompt!legislative!change!
Statutory)Interpretation)
>
For)those)areas)where)Parliament)has)legislated,)the)courts)can)clarify)and)add)detail)to)the)legislation)through)interpreting)it)when)applying)it) to)the)cases)that)arise) >
Judges!are!called!upon!to!interpret!and!apply!the!words!contained!in!legislation!as!Parliament!may!not!cover!every!set!of!circumstances)
>
In)doing)so)the)courts)may)fill)un)the)gaps)left)by)Parliament)
Appeals)
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Allows!for!a!thorough!review!of!decisions!allowing!for!cases!to!be!checked!by!more!experienced!judges!and!allows!for!new!precedent!to!be!set!
(reversing!–!NOT!overruling,!as!it!is!the!same!case)!
!

Weaknesses

Undemocratic)
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Unelected)law[makers,)they)are)not)responsible)to,)or)representative)of)the)community)and)so)their)decision)may)not)always)reflect/represent) community)values) >
Judges!are!typically!drawn!from!a!narrow!socio>economic!group!and!there!are!questions!about!the!degree!to!which!they!are!in!touch!with!
community!values!
Whole)Areas)of)Law)
>
Courts)cannot)make)laws)on)entire)areas)of)law)
>
Law!making!is!restricted!to!the!specific!case!and!area!of!law!before!them!
>
Laws)developed)by)judges)is)“piecemeal”)(bit)by)bit))
>
1932!Donoghue!(UK)!–!1936!Grant!–!1964!Hedley!–!1981!Shaddock!
Restricted)to)Cases)before)them)
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Courts)must)wait)for)a)case)to)come)before)them,)before)they)can)create/change)the)law.)This)relies)on)litigants)being)willing)and)able)(having) the)financial)means))to)bring)a)mater)before)the)courts) >
Their!law!making!is!restricted!y!the!nature!of!the!dispute!and!if!there!is!any!existing!statute!or!common!law)
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Judges)are)limited)to)ruling)on)the)points)of)law)at)issue)in)the)case)before)them.)The)decision)is)binding)only)on)the)parties)to)the)case)
Inflexible)
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Courts!may!find!themselves!restricted!in!their!ability!to!make!law!if!they!are!bound!by!old!precedent!and!are!unable!(due!to!their!position!in!the! hierarchy)!or!unwilling!(due!to!their!conservative!nature)!to!avoid!following!precedent!by!distinguishing,!reversing!and!overruling! Ex)Post)Facto)
>
Decisions)made)by)courts)are)made)retrospectively)(after)the)facts))thus)creating)laws)after)the)offence)or)wrong)has)been)committed.))
>
Courts!must!wait!for!a!case!to!be!brought!before!them!to!act!to!develop!and!amend!existing!legal!principles.!They!are!unable!to!make!laws!for!the! future! Reluctance)to)Change)the)Law)
>
Their)primary)role)is)to)resolve)disputes)
>
Conservative!judges!may!be!reluctant!to!depart!from!outdate!precedents:!
>
e.g.)Justice)Bollen)(rape)in)marriage))
>
Unwilling!–!judges!do!not!see!their!role!as!law!makers,!for!example,!Justice!Mason!(Trigwell)!
Change)is)Slow)
>
Depends)on)litigants)pursuing)their)cases)through)to)the)court)system)(willing)and)able))
>
Even!when!a!new!precedent!is!created!it!only!applies!to!a!limited!set!of!circumstances!and!it!may!take!years!for!the!area!of!law!to!develop!(e.g.!
law!of!negligence)!
>
Process)is)costly)and)time)consuming)
>
Conservative!nature!of!judges!who!may!be!reluctant!to!depart!from!outdated!precedents!
>
Parliament)can)override)court)made)law)at)anytime)as)they)are)the)sovereign)law[maker)
Difficulty)in)finding)precedent)
>
Laws!made!by!the!courts!are!difficult!to!locate!and!is!expressed!in!technical!language.!
>
Parliament:)Statute,)Legislation,)Act)of)Parliament)
>
Courts:!Precedent,!Common!Law,!Statutory!Interpretation!
>
People)wishing)to)pursue)their)rights)under)common)law)require)great)skill)in)finding)precedents)which)might)involve)local)and)international)
judgements)
>
Time!consuming!
>
Conflicting)precedents)
!

Relationship between Parliament and Courts o o o Parliament)is)the)Supreme)law)making)body)
Parliament)passes)Acts)creating)courts)
Courts)apply)and)interpret)law)made)by)Parliament)

o o !

Parliament)confirms/changes)the)law)made)by)courts)
Court)decisions)can)influence)Parliament)to)change)the)law)

Introduction
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Courts!and!Parliament!interact!in!the!law!making!process!
They)need)to)work)together)so)that)the)law)is)flexible)and)can)apply)to)any)situation)that)might)arise)
Parliament!is!the!supreme!law!making!body!–!its!main!role!is!to!make!laws!
Courts)in)the)other)hand)are)responsible)for)settling)disputes)and)as)a)secondary)role)they)make)law)
Courts!are!dependent!on!Parliament!to!make!the!bulk!of!the!law!
Parliament)is)dependent)on)the)courts)to)apply)the)law)made)by)Parliament)and)to)establish)new)laws)on)situations)that)have)arisen)for)the)
first)time)

Parliament Passes Legislation to establish courts
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For!courts!to!exist!there!must!be!an!Act!of!Parliament!that!establishes!the!courts!and!sets!out!its!jurisdiction!
E.g.)The)Magistrate’s)Court)Act)has)been)amended)every)year)since)it)was)enacted)with)major)changes)including)the)establishment)of)the)Koori)
Court)in)2002)

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Courts apply and interpret the law made by Parliament
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When!resolving!a!dispute,!courts!need!to!apply!the!case!before!them!to!any!relevant!legislation!made!by!Parliament!
In)doing)so)they)are)often)required)to)interpret)the)meaning)of)the)words)or)phrases)within)the)legislation)
e.g.!Gardner!–!Medical!treatment!–!Did!a!feeding!tube!constitute!medical!treatment?!
The)impact)of)statutory)interpretation)is)that)the)legislation)and)the)precedent)created)by)the)court’s)interpretation)are)read)together)to)form)
the)law)
This!interpretation!may!either!broaden!or!narrow!the!meaning!of!the!original!legislation!

Parliament can change/confirm the law made by the courts
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Courts)make)law)through)statutory)interpretation)and)the)creation)of)precedent)
As!the!Supreme!Law!Making!body,!Parliament!can!codify!precedent!into!legislation!which!reinforces!the!principles!established!by!the!courts,!e.g.!
Mabo!
Parliament)can)also)change)the)law:)
o To)override)a)decision)made)by)the)courts,)e.g.)Trigwell) o If)courts)interpret)the)Common)Law)(past)precedents))in)a)way)that)no)longer)reflects)community)values,)e.g.)Rape)in)marriage) o If)courts)interpret)the)meaning)of)the)words)in)a)way)that)does)not)reflect)Parliament’s)intention)

Court Decisions can influence Parliament to change the law
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In!the!process!of!hearing!and!deciding!cases,!judges!make!may!statements!that!reflect!their!own!feelings!on!a!law!or!its!application!
These)statements)may)signify)to)Parliament)that)there)is)a)need)for)a)change)in)the)law)
o E.g.)Obiter)in)Trigwell)–)HC)suggested)that)Parliament)should)change)the)law)as)they)could)investigate)and)legislate)as)an)entire)area) of)law) Creativity!by!the!courts!may!alert!Parliament!to!an!area!of!law!where!new!laws!are!necessary! o Mabo!–!Parliament!created!a!whole!new!area!of!law!about!native!title!which!confirmed!the!HC!decision!in!Mabo!
Court)decisions)highlight)problems)and)lead)to)changes)in)the)law)
o Julian)Knight)wanting)to)write)to)his)victims)
)

Parliament.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Parliament
+ TEXTBOOK ones
)

Law-making
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It)is)Parliament’s)primary)role)to)make)laws.)They)can)therefore)devote)the)majority)of)sitting)time)in)Parliament)to)making)laws.))
However)
Parliament!is!not!always!sitting!which!means!that!the!passage!of!important!legislation!may!be!delayed!during!Parliamentary!recesses)
e.g.!in!2010!the!Victorian!Legislative!Assembly!sat!for!only!42!days,!and!the!Legislative!Council,!41!days.)
At!the!federal!level!the!House!of!Representatives!was!scheduled!to!sit!for!66!days!and!the!Senate,!50!days)

Representative
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MPs)are)elected)into)office)by)the)community)to)represent)them)in)law)making)
Parliament)is)therefore)responsible)and)answerable)to)the)people)
If)the)people)are)dissatisfied)with)the)representation)given)by)a)MP)then)that)member)may)be)voted)out)at)the)next)election)
However)
Because!MPs!are!concerned!about!voter!backlash!they!may!be!subject!to!political!influence!and!be!at!the!whim!of!the!electorate)
This!could!result!in!Parliament!being!pre>occupied!with!passing!popular!laws,!rather!than!necessary!but!controversial!ones)

Make law at any time
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Parliament)is)able)to)make/change)laws)at)any)time)(provided)that)it)is)sitting))and)can)act)quickly)as)the)need)arises)
It)can)respond)to)events,)changes)in)technology)or)changes)in)the)views)and)values)of)society)
However)
There!are!conflicting!values!in!society!on!some!issues!and!it!is!not!always!possible!for!Parliament!to!determine!a!majority!view!to!represent!in!
legislation.!This!may!result!in!Parliament!having!difficulty!passing!laws!in!controversial!issues!such!as!euthanasia!

!

Expert Advice
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Parliament)is)able)to)undertake)investigations)into)issues)and)gather)information)from)a)number)of)expert)sources)before)drafting)legislation,) including)reports)from)law)reform)bodies)and)parliamentary)committees) This)means)that)Parliament)can)more)readily)take)into)account)the)needs)of)society)and)make)more)informed)decisions)when)drafting)and) passing)legislation) Parliament)is)therefor)able)to)make)comprehensive)laws)that)cover)entire)areas)of)law,)e.g.)Abortion)Law)Reform)Act)2008)
However)
Parliamentary!investigations!and!consultations!on!issues!are!time!consuming!and!expensive!and!could!delay!legislative!change)
e.g.!Attorney!General!referred!the!issue!of!reproductive!treatment!to!the!VLRC!in!2002.!After!4.5!years!of!research!they!issued!their!final!report!in!
2007)
Many!of!the!recommendations!were!incorporated!in!2008!however!many!of!those!provisions!did!not!come!into!effect!until!2010!–!nearly!8!years!
after!the!initial!investigation!commenced.)

!

In futuro
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Parliament)has)the)ability)to)pass)laws)in)futuro)(with)the)future)in)mind).)It)may)anticipate)a)future)potential)situation)and)legislate)to)try)to) prevent)or)control)it.) However)
Parliament!cannot!be!expected!to!be!able!to!foresee!all!future!situations!or!community!needs,!and!legislate!on!these!accordingly!
Parliament!is!able!to!make!retrospective!laws!which!may!result!in!an!unfair!result!if!a!person!does!something!that!is!lawful!at!the!time!but! becomes!unlawful!at!a!later!date!(very!rare)! !

Arena for Debate
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The)parliamentary)process)provides)an)arena)for)debate)
All)bills)go)through)a)thorough)debate)and)discussion)process)in)both)houses,)which)ensures)that)all)political)parties)and)individual)members)
have)an)opportunity)to)voice)their)concerns)on)behalf)of)their)constituents)
Debate)may)be)adjourned)to)allow)further)consultation)with)the)public)and)pressure)groups)
The)many)stages)a)bill)goes)through)in)its)passage)through)Parliament)before)it)becomes)law)lessens)the)chance)of)unjust)or)unclear)laws)being) passed)as)flaws)are)likely)to)be)identified)and)rectified) However)
If!the!government!holds!the!majority!in!the!lower!house!of!Parliament!and!if!it!also!holds!the!majority!in!the!upper!house!there!is!a!danger!that!
the!Upper!House!could!become!a!rubber!stamp.!This!means!that!the!bills!pass!automatically!if!government!members!vote!on!party!lines,!without! allowing!for!further!debate!and!scrutiny! By!contrast,!if!the!government!does!not!hold!the!majority!in!the!Upper!House!(hostile!upper!house)!and!there!is!strong!opposition!to!the!bill,!then! in!order!to!secure!the!support!of!the!opposition!or!minor!parties!in!the!Upper!House!the!bill!may!be!watered!down!and!no!longer!reflective!of! government!policy!
e.g.!In!order!to!get!the!GST!legislation!through!the!Senate!in!2000!the!government!agreed!to!remove!the!GST!from!basic!foods!and!essential!items!
in!order!to!secure!the!support!of!the!Democrats!in!the!Senate!
The!many!stages!a!bill!goes!through!can!add!to!the!delays!in!making!laws,!thus!law!making!by!Parliament!can!be!time>consuming!

Delegate
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Through)the)passing)of)an)enabling)act)Parliament)is)able)to)create)subordinate)authorities)to)assist)with)law[making)
These)bodies)are)given)specific)powers)to)create)laws)(delegated)legislation))in)specific)areas)
Subordinate)bodies)include)local)councils,)VicRoads,)Australia)Post)
These)expert)bodies)are)able)to)make)technical/specialised)laws)required)in)their)area)as)they)have)the)benefit)of)local)knowledge)and)are)
closer)and)more)accessible)to)the)public)
This)allows)Parliament)to)focus)on)bigger)issues)in)law[making)
However)
By!delegating!power!to!subordinate!authorities!Parliament!is!giving!up!law>making!power!to!unelected!undemocratic!bodies!(except!local!
councils)!
These!bodies!are!able!to!make!laws!quickly!due!to!the!lack!of!debate!in!their!law!making!processes!
With!so!many!of!these!bodies!there!is!a!danger!of!overlapping,!inconsistencies!and!fragmentation!in!the!rules!and!regulations!made!by!them!

Reasons for the existence of the Court Hierarchy

Court hierarchy:
Court!hierarchy!is!a!structure,!or!order!of!rank,!relating!to!courts.!Lower!courts!(within!the!same!hierarchy)!must!follow!the!decisions!of!higher!courts.!
!

Specialisation





!

Each!court!at!each!level!deals!with!particular!types!of!cases!
Becomes!experts!with!specialised!knowledge!in!areas!of!law!
Legal!and!court!personnel!become!familiar!with!cases,!laws!and!procedures!
Specialist!personnel!(such!as!counsellors)!can!be!employed!
Example:!Magistrate!court!cases!vs.!Supreme!Court!cases!

Doctrine of Precedent



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Legal!principles!made!in!higher!courts!are!binding!on!lower!courts!if!in!same!hierarchy,!and!cases!are!similar!
Consistency,!fairness!and!certainty!
Ratio!Decidendi!is!binding!precedent!and!must!be!followed!

Appeals




!

Hierarchy!allows!appeals!to!work!effectively!
People!not!satisfied!with!outcome!of!a!dispute!can!appeal!to!a!higher!court!to!review!original!decision!
Appeal!only!on!conviction,!sentence,!verdict!or!point!of!law!

Administrative efficiency


!

Judges!sitting!in!higher!courts!will!hear!more!serious!cases!and!they!are!more!experienced!judges!–!and!used!to!dealing!with!very!long!and! complex!cases! Most!smaller!cases!heard!quite!quickly!in!‘bottom’!courts,!to!reduce!costs!and!delays!

Court Jurisdictions

)

Original Jurisdiction

Court)
Supreme)[Court)of)Appeal)
Supreme)Court)(Trial)Division))

Criminal)
None!
Most!serious!indictable!offences!such!as! murder!and!treason! Serious!indictable!offences!such!as!armed! robbery!and!serious!drug!offences! Summary!offences!such!as!traffic!offences!
Indictable!offences!heard!summarily!such!as!
theft!
Committal!hearings!

Civil)
None!
Unlimited!

Court)
Supreme)[)Court)of)Appeal)

Criminal)
Appeals!in!all!cases!from!a!single!judge!of!the!
County!and!Supreme!Courts!

Supreme)Court)(Trial)Division))

Appeals!in!all!cases!on!a!point!of!law!from!the!
Magistrate’s!Court!

County)Court)

Only!from!the!Magistrate’s!Court!on!a!question! of!fact!–!conviction!or!sentence!(leniency!or! severity)!
None!

Civil)
Appeals!in!all!cases!from!a!single!judge!of!the!
County!and!Supreme!courts!and!some!VCAT! divisions! Appeals!in!all!cases!on!a!point!of!law!from!the!
Magistrate’s!Court!and!from!some!VCAT!
divisions!
None!

County)Court)
Magistrate’s)Court)

Unlimited!
Claims!up!to!$100!000!for!all!civil!matters!Civil!
claims!under!$10!000!are!referred!to! arbitration!(ADR!method)! !

Appellate Jurisdiction

Magistrate’s)Court)
!

None!

Role of VCAT








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Divided!into!three!divisions!(civil,!administrative!and!human!rights)!
Various!lists!dealing!with!certain!types!of!minor!civil!disputes!
Provides)an)alternative)to)court)resolution,)by)using)ADR)methods)to)resolve)civil)disputes!
Providing)ADR)Mediation,)Conciliation)and)Arbitration!
Gives)parties)the)opportunity)to)reconcile)and)co[operate)before)imposing)binding)decisions!
To)provide)a)flexible,)informal)environment)to)resolve)disputes)quickly)and)fairly)!
To)make)justice)accessible)and)affordable)for)everyone!
No)strict)rules)of)evidence)and)no)legal)representation!

!

Strengths and weaknesses – pg.150


Attendance,)Cost,)Access)to)legal)representation,)Outcome)or)decision,)Confidentiality,)Formality,)Adversarial)nature,)Jury,)Suitability,)Time,)
Appeals)

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Summary Offences Act
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Obscene!exposure!
Begging!

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Possessing!housebreaking!implements!
Escape!from!lawful!custody!
Drink!driving!offences!

10 Most Common Offences

Drinking!whilst!disqualified,!drunk!in!a!public!place,!obtaining!property!by!deception,!exceeding!BAC!within!3!hours!of!breath!testing,!exceeding!speed! limit,!driving!unregistered!vehicle!in!a!toll!zone,!unregistered!vehicle!on!highway,!failing!bail,!drugs!! !

Indictable offences tried summarily
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Matter!resolved!faster!and!cheaper!
If!found!guilty!the!maximum!jail!term!is!likely!to!be!less!than!what!they!may!receive!in!a!higher!court!
Less!formal!in!the!Magistrates!Court!

Offences that would normally incur a max jail term of 10 years or less – 1200 penalty units ($140 000)
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Threats!to!inflict!serious!injury!
Burglary!
Perjury!
Firearm!Offences!
Offences!including!property!up!to!$100!000!(Burglary,!handling!stolen!goods)!

Penalty Units
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Used!in!Victorian!Acts!to!describe!the!amount!of!a!fine.!Currently!$119.45!per!unit!
Indexed!annually!in!line!with!inflation!

Committal proceeding

Defendant!
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To!establish!a!‘prima!facie’!case!
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Is!the!evidence!of!sufficient!weight!to!support!a!conviction!by!a!jury!at!trial?!
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If!not,!the!defendant!is!set!free!
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Saves!the!cost!of!a!trial!and!court!resources!
Legal!System!
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Aimed!at!avoiding!a!full!trial!where!there!is!insufficient!evidence!to!support!a!conviction!
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Saves!the!state!the!cost!of!a!trial,!time!and!energy!
However)
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DPP!has!the!power!to!present!an!accused!person!directly!for!trial!for!an!offence!and!overrule!the!decision!of!a!magistrate! o Peter!Dupas!–!committal!in!2003!–!Magistrate!said!insufficient!evidence! o DPP!intervened!and!sent!him!to!trial!in!Supreme!Court! o Jury!found!him!guilty!in!2004! o Currently!serving!a!life!sentence!
!

Magistrate’s Court
The!Magistrate’s!Court!has!the!power!to!hear!civil!claims!up!to!$100!000.!There!are!a!variety!of!dispute!settlement!methods!that!can!be!used!in!the!
Magistrate’!Court!to!settle!civil!disputes.!!
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These!methods!include!conciliation!and!arbitration!
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Broadmeadows)Magistrate’s)Court)[)$40)000)
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Conciliation in Magistrate’s Court
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Pre>hearing!conferences!in!the!Magistrate’s!Court!use!a!process!of!conciliation!!
Parties!to!a!dispute!may!apply!to!have!a!pre>hearing!conference!
A!pre>trial!hearing!will!be!used!when!the!court!believes!that!it!will!encourage!an!out>of>court!settlement,!or!if!there!are!complex!issues!that!can! be!resolved!before! Arbitration in Magistrate’s Court
Civil!cases!in!which!the!compensation!claimed!is!less!than!$10!000!must!go!to!arbitration!
Less!formal,!conducted!by!registrar!
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Civil Disputes
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Motor!vehicle!claims!(accident)!
Disputes!about!a!contract!
Claims!under!torts!

Function of a Magistrate’s Court
Deals!with!local!issues!at!the!local!level!
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Small!civil!and!criminal!offences!and!hearing!committals!to!determine!if!there!is!sufficient!evidence!to!proceed!!
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Specialist Magistrate’s Courts
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Enable!Magistrate’s!court!to!adopt!specialist!approaches!to!deal!with!specific!issues!
These) specialist) functions) reflect) the) move) away) from) focusing) on) individuals) as) perpetrators) of) criminal) conduct) to) considering) them) as) offenders)with)unique)problems)) The!focus!is!on!identifying!possible!solutions.!There!is!a!recognition!that!social!problems!(caused!by!underlying!physical,!psychological,!social!or! economic!circumstances)!may!require!social!action!rather!than!legal!sanctions! Koori Courts
The!Koori!Court!division!aims!to!reduce:!

The!number!of!Aboriginal!defendants!who!fail!to!appear!on!bail!

Breaches!of!court!community>based!orders!

The!rate!of!re>offending!
!
The)court)is)informal)and)strives)for)mutual)understanding)and)reconciliation.)It)allows)defendants,)their)extended)families)and)senior)Aboriginal)
community)members)to)take)part)in)hearings)
The!court!employers!elders!and!respected!persons!who!bring!cultural!and!community!knowledge!and!wisdom!to!the!hearing!process.!

Court!operates!with!minimal!formality!and!technicality!

Jurisdiction:!
o Defendant!is!Aboriginal!and!consents!to!the!proceeding!in!the!Koori!Court! o Offence!is!within!the!jurisdiction!of!the!Magistrate’s!Court! o Defendant!pleads!guilty!and!shows!intention!to!take!responsibility!for!their!actions!
!
Koori)Court)
In!the!first!2!years!of!operation!the!court!dealt!with!167!defendants!and!of!these!only!9!reoffended.!

Decrease!in!recidivism!
o General!Community!29.4%! o Koori!12.5%!
!

Family Violence
The!family!violence!court!focuses!on!the!nature!of!the!offence!rather!than!the!offender.!It!deals!with!both!the!offender!and!the!victim.!The!Family!
Violence!court!can!hear!matters!of!family!that!are:!
!

Proceedings!with!respect!to!intervention!orders,!interim!orders!and!counselling!orders!

Civil!proceedings!for!damages!for!personal!injury!

Criminal!proceedings!for!adults!that!may!be!heard!and!determined!summarily!

Committal!proceedings!of!indictable!offences!for!adults!

Crimes!compensation!
!

Neighbourhood Justice Centre
Established!in!2007!at!Collingwood!and!Moorabbin!

One!stop!shop!court!that!offers!access!to!services!such!as!!
o Drug,!alcohol,!mental!health,!financial!and!employment!assistance,!legal!aid,!victim!support,!mediators!and!staff!to!address!the!needs!of!women,! youth,!people!from!culturally!and!linguistically!diverse!backgrounds!and!Koori!people! !
Aim:)

To!improve!access!and!justice!for!socially!disadvantaged!offenders!such!as!low!income,!unemployed,!poorly!educated!people!

Hearings!are!in!a!less!formal!setting!designed!to!simplify!access!to!the!justice!system!

Use!a!case!management!and!restorative!approach!to!justice!
!
Justice!centres!provide!a!range!of!dispute!resolution!services!in!one!location.!

The!Neighbourhood!Justice!Centre!has!the!combined!jurisdiction!of!the!Magistrates!Courts,!Children,!Family!Violence,!Family,!Koori,!Residential!
tenancies,!Civil!Claims,!Victims!of!Crime!Assistance!Tribunal,!Community!Corrections!

Justice!Centres!–!City!of!Yarra!and!Moorabbin!

These!Justice!Centres!are!neighbourhood>focused!centres!that!seek!to!enhance!community!participation!in!the!justice!system!and!improve!the! quality!of!local!community!life! !

Restorative Justice


It! allows! offenders! to! take! accountability! for! their! actions,! victims! to! have! a! voice! and! achieve! redress! and! the! community! to! pay! a! part! in! repairing!the!harm!caused!and!preventing!further!offending!or!conflicts! !

County Court – Criminal Cases



!

Drug)trafficking)
Rape)
Serious)Assaults)




!

Claims!against!municipal!councils!for!loss!or!injury!sustained!while!using!roads,!land,!buildings!under!the!control!of!the!council!
Personal!injury!claims!
Contractual!disputes!

Civil Cases

Supreme Courts – Criminal Cases

Murder,)attempted)murder,)defensive)homicide,)child)homicide,)treason)
)
Appeals)–)Criminal)Cases!

A!question!of!fact!

o Did!Mr!and!Mrs!Jones!leave!their!10>year>old!child!home!alone!with!their!baby!for!4!days?! o Answers!to!questions!of!fact!are!determined!by!a!jury,!or!judge.!

A!question!of!law! o Does!leaving!a!baby!with!a!10>year>old!child!for!4!days!fit!the!legal!definition!of!child!neglect?!
!
Appeals)–)Civil)Cases) o The!amount!of!damages!awarded)
!
Appeals)–)Criminal)Cases) o Criminal!procedures!act!2009!simplifies!the!grounds!for!appeals) o Appeal!against!conviction!–!accused)
" Verdict!unreasonable!given!the!evidence)
" Error!in!the!trial!causing!a!miscarriage!of!justice) o Appeal!against!the!sentence!–!accused/DPP)
" Error!in!the!sentence!imposed!–!too!harsh/lenient)
" Public!interest)
!

Appeals
Civil!–!Question!of!fact,!question!of!law,!amount!of!damages!–!too!high,!too!low!
Criminal!–!Question!of!fact,!question!of!law,!conviction!too!harsh!or!too!lenient!
!

Methods
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Dispute Resolution

Dispute!Resolution!–!Mediation,!Conciliation,!Arbitration!
Judicial!determination!

Types of Disputes
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Civil!
Criminal!

Institutions
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VCAT!(Anti!Discrimination!List,!Residential!Tenancies!List,!Small!Claims!List)!
Hierarchy!of!Courts!(Court!of!Appeal,!Supreme!Court,!Country!Court,!Magistrates!Court)!

Dispute o o
)

Civil!–!Can!go!to!other!dispute!resolution!methods!such!as!Mediation,!Conciliation,!Arbitration!
Criminal!
o Both!can!go!to!Court!for!JUDICIAL)DETERMINATION!

Mediation –!An!alternative!dispute!resolution!(ADR)!method;!a!means!of!settling!disputes!in!which!a!neutral!person!(the!mediator)!helps! the!parties!to!negotiate!between!themselves!to!reach!a!mutually!satisfactory!agreement.!The!mediator!has!no!power!to!impose!a!decision! !

Conciliation –! An! alternative! dispute! resolution! (ADR)! method,! a! formal! means! of! settling! a! dispute! in! which! the! parties! are! encouraged!to!negotiate!with!each!other,!aided!by!a!neutral!third!party!–!the!conciliator.!The!outcome!is!not!binding.! !

Arbitration –!An!alternative!dispute!resolution!method,!the!process!of!resolving!a!dispute!by!submitting!the!dispute!to!an!independent!

third!party!such!as!a!court!or!tribunal.!Arbitral!powers!have!a!narrower!constitutional!meaning,!referring!to!a!tribunal’s!powers!to!resolve!disputes,!as! opposed!to!a!court’s!judicial!powers! !

Introduction - What is ADR?

A!term!used!to!describe!various!ways!of!re>solving!disputes!without!going!to!court!
!
“Alternative!dispute!resolution!methods!are!various!ways!of!resolving!civil!disputes!without!having!to!go!to!courts.!They!aim!to!resolve!disputes! while!keeping!costs!low!and!minimising!delays!and!formality.!Mediation,!conciliation!and!arbitration!are!all!ADR!methods.”! ! o The!court!system!is!responsible!for!settling!a!large!number!of!disputes!many!of!which!could!not!be!settled!by!other!means,!the!court!system!is! usually!the!last!resort!for!disputing!parties! !
Why)ADR?!The!government!has!become!more!aware!of!the!need!for!alternative!ways!of!dispute!settlement!which!can!reduce!the!burden!of:!
! o Costs)–!the!court!system!is!expensive!so!people!are!likely!to!do!nothing!because!they!cannot!afford!a!solicitor!or!court!costs! o Adversarial) –!when!disputes!are!decided!by!a!judge!in!court,!and!both!parties!to!the!dispute!are!unhappy!with!the!decision!this!could!lead!to! increased!tension!and!a!worsening!situation!between!the!parties! o Delays)–!time!taken!to!have!matter!heard!before!a!court!due!to!the!backlog!of!cases! o Formality)–!the!court!processes!can!be!intimidating!to!the!parties!involved!in!the!dispute!due!to!the!strict!rules!of!evidence!and!complicated!legal! procedure! o Stress)and)inconvenience)
!

Evaluation of dispute resolution methods

!

+)Less)formal)and)less)intimidating)method)of)dispute)resolution)compared)to)courts)due)to)the)absence)of)strict)rules)of)evidence)and)procedure) in)ADR) !

-

However,!decisions!are!not!legally!binding!(except!for!arbitration)!so!the!dispute!may!need!to!be!resolved!by!the!courts!anyway.!This!increases! delays!in!the!final!resolution! !

+)Costs)are)less)than)going)to)court)as)parties)do)not)require)legal)representation)and)the)fees)involved)for)the)services)of)mediators)are)lower) than)court)fees) !

-!However!ADR!is!not!always!cheap!and!can!be!as!expensive!as!court!action!if!the!parties!choose!to!engage!legal!representation!
!

+!More)timely)resolution)of)disputes)as)parties)avoid)the)delay)associated)with)going)to)court!
!

-!However,!not!all!forms!of!ADR!are!quick,!some!require!a!client!to!pass!through!many!stages!before!adjudication!
!

+) Parties) are) more) likely) to) feel) satisfied) with) their) decision) and) are) likely) to) follow) it) as) they) have) been) involved) in) the) process) (except) in) arbitration))and)there)is)more)likely)to)be)a)win[win)situation) !

-!However,!because!it!is!a!voluntary!process!one!party!may!refuse!to!attend!or!may!withdraw!at!any!time!
!

+)Helps)to)preserve)the)relationship)between)the)parties)as)there)is)reduced)animosity)due)to)the)absence)of)a)winner)and)loser,)as)compared)to) judicial)determination.)The)emphasis)in)ADR)is)on)preserving)the)relationship)between)the)disputing)parties) !

-!However,!not!appropriate!when!the!parties!are!not!of!equal!bargaining!strength!or!where!one!party!may!exert!influence!over!the!other!party,!e.g.!

employer! and! employee.! One! party! may! compromise! too! much! and! try! to! resolve! the! dispute! thereby! agreeing! to! a! resolution! that! they! are! not! actually!happy!with! !
ADR)is)confidential)and)not)open)to)the)public)unlike)courts,)and)each)case)is)judged)on)its)individual)merits)(no)doctrine)of)precedent)operating).)
However,)there)is)no)avenue)for)appeal.)
!
!

Evaluation of judicial determination
!

What is Judicial determination?
“Judicial!determination!involves!parties!presenting!their!case!to!a!judge,!magistrate!or!VCAT!member!who!decides!the!
outcome!of!the!case.!It!is!available!and!used!for!both!civil!and!criminal!disputes,!and!decisions!imposed!are!legally! binding!on!parties.!Judicial!determination!can!occur!through!courts!and!VCAT!when!ADR!methods!have!not!been! successful!for!civil!cases.!Judicial!determination!from!criminal!cases!only!occurs!through!courts,!whereas!alternative! dispute!resolution!methods!are!purely!for!civil!law.”! !

+

The)decision)is)legally)binding)and)can)be)enforced)by)the)courts.)Suitable)for)all)types)of)disputes)–)both)criminal)and)civil!

!

-

However,!the!process!is!expensive!due!to!the!fees!associated!with!courts!and!the!need!to!engage!legal!representation.!Judicial!officers!find!for! either!one!party!or!the!other!which!may!leave!one!party!feeling!dissatisfied! !

+

Judicial) officers) are) experienced) legal) professionals,) with) experience) and) skills) in) the) law,) legal) processes) and) their) resolution.) However,) judicial)officers)are)bound)by)formality)in)their)trials)and)are)not)able)to)assist)unrepresented)parties) !

-

However! judicial! officers! are! limited! in! the! orders! they! can! make! (usually! by! legislation)! whereas! in! mediation! and! conciliation! there! is! more! flexibility!of!outcome! !

+

The)formal)nature)of)the)process)suits)some)parties)and)there)is)an)element)of)fairness)as)parties)to)the)case)are)subject)to)the)same)rules)of) evidence)and)procedure! !
!

VCAT – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
!

>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
!

Tribunals)specialise)in)particular)types)of)disputes)leading)to)greater)expertise)
They!are!less!formal!and!the!traditional!court!system!and!are!more!appropriate!and!facilitate!better!discussion!and!outcomes!
Less)expensive)and)can)resolve)disputes)in)a)timely,)cost[efficient)manner)
Disputes!can!be!resolved!reasonably!quickly!
Tribunals!decision!is!legally!binding!when!arbitration!is!used!
One)stop)shop)with)a)common)set)of)procedures,)established)in)1988)
Hears!approximately!90!000!cases!each!year!
Busiest)list)is)the)Residential)Tenancies)list)which)hears)approximately)60)000)applications)each)year)

Resolving Disputes
!
1.



2.


3.
4.
5.
!

Application!is!received!by!relevant!list!at!VCAT!
Guardianship,!planning!and!environment!
Residential!tenancies,!civil!claims!
All!other!cases!
Residential!tenancies!and!civil!claims!–!can)be)settled)at)any)time)
All)other)cases)–)Directions,)hearings,)mediation,)and/or)compulsory)conference)
Guardianship,!planning!and!environment!could!go!to!a!hearing!
Hearings!can!take!place!
Deicision!and!order!made!
Avenue!of!appeal!to!Supreme!Court!on!questions!of!law!

VCAT Divisions
Civil)Division)–)Civil)claims)list,)residential)tenancies)list)
Administrative)Division)–)Taxation)list,)general)list)
Human)Rights)Division)–)Anti[discrimination)list,)Guardianship)list)
!
VCAT!Personnel!comprises!of!

A!president!(a!Supreme!Court!Judge)!

Three!vice>presidents!(County!Court!Judges)!

Deputy!presidents!who!oversee!the!operation!of!each!list!

Lawyers!who!preside!over!the!individual!cases!in!each!list!
!
So)there)is…)

VCAT!President!

Three!VP!(Admin,!Civil,!Human!Rights)!

Deputy!%!and!their!own!lawyers!
!

Role and Function of VCAT


Main)objectives)are)to)provide)cost[effective,)accessible)and)informal,)timely)and)quality)resolution)of)a)range)of)civil)cases)to)the)Victorian) public) VCAT!provides!an!alternative!to!court!resolution!using!various!methods!of!ADR!to!resolve!disputes!


!
Cost)Effective)
VCAT!provides!a!low!cost!method!of!resolving!disputes.!Fee!to!file!a!claim!are!minimal!

$37!for!most!small!claims!(less!than!$10!000)!and!!

$300!for!claims!between!$10!000!and!$100!000.!Parties!do!not!require!legal!representation!in!VCAT!hearings!(and!in!not!permitted!in!some!lists,!
e.g.!civil!claims)!further!reducing!costs!

Legal!Representation!–!for!power!inequality!(one!party!exerts!pressure!on!the!other)!
)
Accessible)and)informal)
>
VCAT!ratings!are!less!formal!than!court!hearings!due!to!the!absence!of!the!strict!rules!of!evidence!and!procedure!making!VCAT!less!intimidating!to! use! >
Hearings!are!conducted!in!around!43!venues!around!the!state!
>
VCAT!can!also!use!facilities!such!as!video!and!telephone!conferencing!if!needed!with!many!forms!able!to!be!lodged!online!
!
Timely)Resolution)
Parties!using!VCAT!can!avoid!the!time!delays!of!going!to!court.!!

Time!between!application!and!hearing!is!about!two!weeks!in!Residential!Tenancies!List!and!11!weeks!in!the!civil!claims!list!

Time!for!the!hearing!is!also!short!with!most!cases!resolved!within!a!day!
!
Quality)and)Expertise)
Each!list!of!VCAT!operates!within!its!own!specialised!jurisdiction!resulting!in!the!tribunal!personnel!developing!expertise!in!resolving!disputes!in!that!
particular!area.!
!

VCAT Hearings




!

Informal!
Parties!have!the!chance!to!give!evidence!or!ask!questions!of!witnesses!under!oath!
VCAT!may!call!for!evidence!from!experts!where!appropriate!with!the!parties!responsible!for!the!costs!
Some!hearings!may!occur!over!teleconferencing!or!video!links!

VCAT Remedies
VCAT!may!order!a!variety!of!remedies!including!
>
An!order!to!pay!damages!as!compensation!
>
An!order!for!one!party!to!do!something/refrain!from!doing!something!
>
Order!the!terms!of!a!contract!be!fulfilled/reviewed!or!cancelled!
!

VCAT Appeals
Parties!who!are!not!satisfied!with!the!outcome!may!appeal!a!VCAT!decision!on!a!point!of!law!to!either!!
>
Trial!division!of!the!Supreme!Court!
>
Court!of!Appeal!(if!President/Vice!President!presided!over!case)!when!permission!to!appeal!has!been!granted!
!
!
!
)

Legal Unit 4: AOS 2
Comparison between Adversary System and the Inquisitorial System
Legal)Representation)
Adversary)System) o Play!a!vital!role!in!investigating!the!case!for!their!clients!and!bringing! the!evidence!into!court!through!questioning! !
Evidence)and)Procedure)
Adversary)System) o Evidence!is!collected!by!the!parties! o System!relies!heavily!on!oral!evidence! o Strict!rules!of!evidence!and!procedure!exists!to!ensure!a!fair!and! unbiased!hearing!occurs! o Character!evidence!and!past!records!are!inadmissible!so!as!not!to! unduly!influence!a!case!against!the!accused! o Witnesses!respond!to!questions!asked!
!
Getting)at)the)Truth)
Adversary)System)
o Designed!to!allow!the!parties!to!control!their!own!case!and!to!give! the!parties!equal!opportunity!to!win!the!case! o In!the!process!however!the!truth!may!not!emerge!
!
Role)of)the)Parties)
Adversary)System)
o Emphasis!is!on!party!control! o Parties!determine!whether!the!case!proceeds!to!trial,!which!court! and!the!evidence! !
Role)of)the)Judge)
Adversary)System) o Judges!leaves!the!conduct!of!the!case!to!the!parties! o Judges!main!involvement!is!when!the!case!comes!before!the!court! o Judge!may!conduct!directions!hearings!before!the!trial!to!try!to!get! issues!resolved!quicker! o Judge!does!not!lead!the!evidence!and!asks!questions!only!to!clarify! points!made!the!parties! !
Burden)and)Standard)of)Proof)
Adversary)System) o Burden!of!proof!is!on!the!party!bringing!the!action! o Emphasis!is!on!proving!the!case!
!

Inquisitorial)System) o Not!essential! o Helps!judge!to!find!the!truth! o Might!question!witnesses!after!the!judge!has!completed!the! examination!but!must!obtain!permission!from!the!judge! Inquisitorial)System) o Evidence!is!collected!by!the!examining!judge! o A!dossier!is!prepared!containing!all!statements!made!and!evidence! collected! o System!relies!heavily!on!written!statements! o No!strict!rules!of!evidence!and!procedure! o Character!evidence!and!past!records!is!included!in!the!dossier!and! the!judge!has!a!thorough!knowledge!of!the!accused! o Witnesses!tell!their!own!story!without!interruption!by!questions!

Inquisitorial)System) o Designed!to!get!to!the!truth! o Judge!investigates!the!case!to!find!out!the!truth!–!but!may!not!do!so! if!they!do!not!uncover!all!the!evidence! o The!judge!possesses!information!such!as!past!records!that!could! influence!their!view!of!the!accused.! Inquisitorial)System) o Less!control!over!their!case! o Control!lies!with!the!judge!

Inquisitorial)System) o Judge!takes!an!active!role! o Defines!the!issues!of!the!case!and!controls!the!investigation!of!the! case!and!the!examination!of!witnesses!at!the!trial! Inquisitorial)System) o No!formal!burden!or!standard!of!proof! o Judge!is!responsible!for!finding!and!presenting!evidence! o Emphasis!is!on!finding!the!truth!

Elements of an effective legal system
Access to Dispute Resolution
To!operate!effectively,!a!legal!system!must!provide!ways!in!which!disputes!in!the!community!can!be!resolved.!This!means!the!provision!of!avenues!of!
dispute!resolution!and!allowing!parties!to!access!these!legal!bodies,!and!not!be!prevented!from!doing!so!by!a!lack!of!funds!or!lack!of!knowledge!

Timely Resolution of Disputes
"Justice!delayed!is!justice!denied"!

To!operative!effectively!the!legal!system!must!resolve!disputes!in!a!relatively!timely!manner!>!not!too!slow!that!the!dispute!festers!in!the!community! and!they!lose!confidence,!and!not!too!fast!as!to!not!provide!adequate!time!to!consider!both!sides! )

To)operate)effectively,)the)legal)system)must)resolve)disputes)in)a)timely)manner)

Not!too!fast!that!all!relevant!and!matters!are!not!fully!considered!

Not!too!slow!that!a!case!drags!on!for!years!!

If!not,!disputes!fester!and!the!community!loses!confidence!in!the!legal!system!

Sometimes!delays!are!necessary!and!desirable!in!order!to!take!the!time!to!explore!all!factual!and!legal!issues!

However,!delays!in!the!resolution!of!cases!is!one!of!the!biggest!challenges!facing!the!legal!system!

Processes!and!procedures!exist!to!minimise!delays!in!bringing!cases!to!court!

Committal!hearings!–!ensure!that!the!accused!does!not!have!to!wait!a!long!time!for!a!case!that!is!unlikely!to!proceed! o Directions)hearings) o Time)limits)place)on)civil)trial)procedures) o Civil)pre)trial)procedures)aimed)at)securing)out)of)court)settlement)

Case!is!heard!as!one!continuous!trial!!

Civil!pre!trial!procedures!clarify!issues!and!provide!information!for!trial!

Use!of!ADR!methods!

Existence!of!Tribunals!
!
However: Problems as an unfair outcome may be caused by:

Delays!

Trauma!(usually!for!family)!in!waiting!for!an!outcome!(in!remand)!

Increased!costs!

Witnesses!forgetting!important!information!
!
Trials)are)heard)as)one)continuous)event)

Case!continues!until!there!is!a!finding!for!one!of!the!parties.!There!are!no!breaks!in!order!to!gather!more!evidence!which!assists!in! minimising!delays!once!a!trial!has!started! )
Pre[trial)procedures)such)as)committal)hearings)and)directions)hearings)help)speed)up)the)process)of)getting)a)case)to)court)

However,!lengthy!pre>trial!procedures,!delays!in!getting!a!case!to!trial,!and!increased!litigation!have!added!to!the!delays!experienced!before!
disputes!are!resolved!
)
All!parties!charged!with!a!criminal!offence!or!involved!with!a!civil!dispute!will!have!their!case!heard!by!a!legal!expert!which!ensures!that!their!case!runs! according!to!strict!rules!of!evidence!and!procedure! )
If)a)party)feels)they)have)been)dealt)with)unfairly)during)the)trial)they)may)be)able)to)establish)grounds)to)appeal)to)a)higher)court)
o BUT)–)Need!for!legal!representation!may!lead!to!some!parties!not!pursuing!their!claim!due!to!the!costs!involved)

Fair and Unbiased Hearing

According!to!the!principles!of!natural!justice,!every!individual!is!entitled!to!a!fair!hearing,!an!equal!opportunity!to!present!their!side!of!a!story!and!to! be!treated!equally! Party)Control)

Parties!are!able!to!feel!in!control!of!the!progress!of!their!case!

BUT)both!parties!may!not!be!of!equal!footing!because!of!limitations!such!as!evidence!that!is!inadmissible,!witnesses!or!the!accused!who! have!difficulty!with!the!language! •
Interpreters!may!misinterpret!evidence!

Parties!having!difficulty!in!giving!evidence!because!of!feeling!intimidated!
Independent)Arbitrators)

Ensure!parties!are!treated!fairly!

Rules!of!evidence!and!procedure!are!followed!

Make!a!decision!based!on!the!facts!brought!before!them!

BUT)the!judge!may!hold!personal!biases!
Rules)of)Evidence)

Ensure!that!evidence!that!may!be!prejudicial!to!the!parties!is!inadmissible!

Any!evidence!that!might!unfairly!influence!the!court!(hearsay,!prior!convictions)!is!inadmissible!

BUT)some!evidence!that!could!be!useful!in!determining!the!truth!might!be!omitted!or!not!allowed!
Rules)of)Procedure)

Ensure!that!the!truth!will!emerge!from!the!evidence!given!

Ability!to!test!the!evidence!

Rules!of!Evidence!and!Procedure!are!followed!in!court!apply!to!both!parties!and!ensure!that!both!are!treated!equally!
Right)to)Silence)

People!accused!of!crime!have!the!right!to!say!nothing!so!as!not!to!incriminate!themselves!
Legal)Aid)

Provided!to!those!parties!unable!to!afford!legal!representation!

BUT!legal!aid!is!limited!or!possible!not!available!

Parties!may!not!be!able!to!afford!decent!legal!representation!
Burden)of)Proof)

Placed!on!the!party!bringing!the!action!so!they!have!the!responsibility!of!proving!the!case)

Right!to!silence,!rules!of!evidence,!legal!representation,!jury,!adversary!trial,!Burden!&!Standard!of!Proof!



Principles! of! natural! justice! say! that! individuals! are! entitled! to! an! equal! opportunity! to! present! their! side! of! the! story! and! to! be! treated! equally! Lawyers,!answering!questions,!intimidation,!formality,!legal!jargon,!language,!unequal!in!status,!fear!of!repercussions,!knowledge!and!power!

o
)
A)fair)an)unbiased)hearing)is)achieved/reflected)in…)

Presumption!of!innocence!in!criminal!cases!

Police!powers!being!balanced!by!individual!rights!

Burden!of!proof!on!the!party!bringing!the!case!

Use!of!impartial!jury!–!people!are!disqualified/ineligible,!challenged,!reduces!bias!!

The!adversary!trial!and!its!features!

Strict!rules!of!evidence!and!procedure!–!only!reliable!evidence!is!admitted!

A!system!of!appeals!available!to!the!aggrieved!party!

Courts!being!subject!to!public!scrutiny!
Fair) and) Unbiased) hearing) –) However) there) are) problems) which) result) in) unfair) outcomes) due) to:) Police! biases,! unequal! treatment,! ineffective! witnesses,!biases!of!Judiciary/Jurors,!inappropriate!sentencing,!useful!evidence!inadmissible) !
!

The Adversary System of Trial AOS2
The Adversary System
The!dispute!resolution!system!used!in!courts!throughout!common!law!countries!is!based!on!the!concept!of!two!opposing!parties!conducting!a!verbal!
battle!for!the!truth!before!an!independent!body!
Why the adversary system?

Satisfies!the!notion!of!fair!play!and!justice!

Its!rules!and!regulations!are!clearly!defined,!to!ensure!fairness,!equality!and!natural!justice!

Aims!to!provide!society!with!a!peaceful!way!to!resolve!conflicts!between!individuals!

Individuals!are!responsible!for!the!preparation!and!presentation!of!their!case!

Gives!people!independence!and!enhances!personal!freedom!

Party Control



Party!Control!–!each!party!is!in!control!of!their!own!case!and!how!evidence!is!presented!
Investigating!proceedings,!investigating!the!facts,!deciding!what!facts!should!be!brought!before!the!court!and!investigating!the!law,!deciding!on!
whether!to!have!a!jury!in!a!civil!case,!choosing!whether!to!have!legal!representation!
More!satisfied!with!the!outcome!
Parties!fight!to!win!!
No!interference!from!the!state!




!
Strengths)

More!likely!to!feel!satisfied!with!the!outcome!

Allows!them!to!fight!their!own!battle,!to!expose!the!truth!

Reflects!our!combative!nature!

In!civil!cases!can!settle!their!differences!with!minimal!interference! from!the!state! Weaknesses)

Further!animosity!can!arise!in!civil!cases!

Parties!only!bring!out!the!evidence!that!is!favourable!to!their!case! so!vital!evidence!may!be!missed!and!the!court!may!reach!an!unfair! decision!

Delays!

High!cost!of!proceedings!

)

Role of the Judge

The!judge!must!act!as!an!impartial!umpire!and!not!favour!either!side!

Independent!decision!maker!

Keeps!contest!fair!

Ensure!that!the!onus!of!proof!is!met!
!
Strengths)

Impartial!umpire!ensures!that!both!parties!are!treated!equally!and! fairly!! •
Unbiased! decision! as! the! judge! is! independent,! people! feel! the! decision!is!fair!and!impartial! •
Public!likely!to!feel!confident!in!the!decision!

Weaknesses)

Most! experienced! person! in! the! court! and! yet! their! skills! are! not! fully! used! (i.e.! cannot! assist! if! one! of! the! legal! representatives! is! poor)! •
Cannot!suggest!the!need!for!other!evidence!to!be!explored!

Not!able!to!help!discover!the!truth!

Legal Representation







Need!for!legal!representation!
For!the!adversary!system!to!work!effectively!there!should!be!equal!representation!
Lawyers!know!the!strict!rules!of!evidence!and!procedure!that!must!be!followed;!know!the!rules!of!the!courtroom.!!
Both!parties!should!have!equal!opportunity!to!present!their!cases!and!do!so!via!legal!representation!
To!present!the!case!in!the!best!possible!light!
Equal!representation!required!to!bring!out!the!truth!

!
Strengths)
Weaknesses)

Provides! opportunity! for! parties! to! present! their! case! in! the! best! •
Inexperienced! or! poorly! prepared! counsel! disadvantage! the! possible!light! defendant!!

Parties! can! choose! the! best! legal! representation! possible! to! bring! •
Parties! are! totally! reliant! on! the! professionalism! of! their! legal! out!the!evidence! representation!

Do!not!get!to!choose!legal!aid!!

Costly/expensive!to!get!good!lawyer!
!

Burden and Standard of Proof





Burden)and)Standard)of)Proof)
Standard!of!Proof!–!the!strength!of!proof!required!
o Criminal!–!Beyond!reasonable!doubt! o Civil!–!Balance!of!Probabilities!
Burden!of!Proof!–!who!begins!the!battle!
o Criminal!–!Crown/DPP! o Civil!!>!Plaintiff!

!
Strengths)

Innocent! until! proven! guilty! and! beyond! reasonable! doubt! in! criminal!cases! •
Balance!of!probabilities!in!civil!cases!

The! person! responsible! for! making! the! allegations! is! responsible! for!proving!the!facts! !

Weaknesses)

Striving!to!win!the!case!rather!than!striving!to!find!the!truth!

Some!facts!may!not!be!brought!forward!–!especially!if!one!part!is! not,!or!poorly!represented! !

Rules of Evidence and Procedure




They!are!two!different!things)
The!court!hearing!is!governed!by!these!rules!that!aim!to!ensure!fair!and!equal!treatment)
Rules!of!evidence!keep!the!contest!fair!as!such!hearsay!evidence,!opinion,!evidence!of!bad!character,!prior!convictions,!privileged!information,! information!obtained!illegally!and!irrelevant!evidence!is!not!admissible) o Rules!of!procedure!–!allows!for!the!truth!to!emerge!through!questioning.!)

!
Strengths)

Aim! to! treat! parties! fairly! and! also! promote! consistency! as! all! parties!are!treated!alike! •
Use!of!oral!evidence!allows!both!sides!to!assess!the!sincerity!of!the!
witnesses! by! watching! them! give! evidence! rather! than! reading! statements! •
Process!of!cross!examination!is!likely!to!show!up!false!evidence!

Weaknesses)

If! wrong! impressions! are! gained! by! the! judge/magistrate/jury! an! unfair!outcome!could!be!the!result! •
Expert! evidence! could! unduly! influence! the! court! yet! may! not! be! free!from!bias! •
Some!inadmissible!evidence!may!be!crucial!to!the!case,!e.g.!Rowing!
Club?!

Inexperienced! witnesses! can! fail! to! convey! information! because! they!are!intimidated! •
Only!answer!questions!asked!>>!truth!may!not!emerge!

!

The Inquisitorial System
Alternative)system)of)trial)

European,!Asian!and!South!American!nations!

Trials!represent!an!investigation!of!the!matter!in!question!

Focus!is!on!finding!the!truth!(rather!than!a!winner!or!loser)!

Court!is!actively!involved!in!the!case!
o Gathering!and!producing!evidence!and!questioning!witnesses! o In!determining!the!facts!and!conduct!of!a!trial! o May!become!biased!and!not!as!open!to!other!considerations/possibilities!

Parties!are!not!in!control!of!the!case!–!left!to!the!judge!

Parties!respond!to!the!directions!of!the!court!

Judges!gather!evidence!and!the!court!directs!the!parties!in!presenting!arguments!and!witnesses!

Control!of!the!case!is!placed!in!the!hands!of!the!decision!maker!
!
Strengths)
Weaknesses)

Removes!inequities!between!the!parties!

Parties!are!not!in!control!of!the!cases!as!it!is!in!the!hands!of!a!third!
! party! •
Parties!may!feel!at!the!mercy!of!the!investigating!judge!rather!than!
in!control!of!their!own!case.!


Role of the Judge


Takes!a!far!more!active!role!in!the!case!






Objective!and!emphasis!is!to!find!the!truth!
Involved!in!pre>trial!procedures!
o Gathering!and!production!of!evidence!–!both!incriminating!and!exonerating!evidence! o Determining!which!evidence!will!be!led! o Judge!prepares!a!‘dossier’!documentary!record!establishing!the!facts!of!the!case!
At)trial,)the)judge)will)
o Call!and!question!witnesses! o Apply!the!law! o Raise!factual!or!legal!matters!for!consideration!(not!limited!to!the!issues!at!trial)! o Decide!on!the!final!outcome!of!the!case!

!
Strengths)
Weaknesses)

Better! use! of! legal! expertise! of! the! judge! as! all! relevant! evidence! •
Preferable!to!have!an!independent,!impartial!adjudicator!
will!emerge!

Less! impartial! as! they! are! involved! in! all! aspects! the! dispute! and!

As!they!control!the!production!of!evidence!it!is!more!likely!that!all! could!be!influenced!by!outside!issues! relevant!evidence!is!brought!out!
!

Rules of Evidence and Procedure
Less!reliance!on!strict!rules!of!evidence!and!procedure!
Extensive!pre!trial!procedures! o Sometimes!the!innocence!of!the!accused!is!established!so!no!trial!occurs!

Emphasis!is!on!finding!the!truth!

Witnesses!are!called!by!the!judge!–!only!one!expert!witness! o New!evidence!can!be!brought!by!the!judges!at!any!time! o Greater!reliance!on!documentary/written!evidence! o Witnesses!are!free!to!describe!in!their!own!words!rather!than!respond!to!direct!questioning! o Questioning!of!witnesses!is!undertaken!by!judge! o Inadmissible!evidence!such!as!hearsay!evidence!and!prior!convictions!are!considered!valid!by!judges!
Strengths)
Weaknesses)

Ensures!all!evidence!is!helpful!in!finding!the!truth!

Judges!might!be!biased!by!some!of!the!evidence!as!they!are!aware! of!all!past!records,!character!reports! •
Use! of! written! statements! reduces! the! costs! of! the! proceedings! and!delays!are!reduced! •
Greater! reliance! on! written! evidence! denies! the! parties! the!
!
opportunity!to!test!the!evidence!

Parties!are!unable!to!call!their!own!experts!–!if!expert!gets!it!wrong!
!



Role of Legal Representation

Much!less!reliance!on!legal!representation!due!to!the!extensive!role!of!the!judge!

Role!is!to!assist!the!judge!in!determining!the!truth!through!investigation!and!questioning!!
!
Strengths)
Weaknesses)

Removes!the!inequity!of!having!unequal!representation!and!saves! •
Parties!may!feel!at!the!mercy!of!the!judge!as!they!are!less!likely!to!
costs!on!legal!fees! have!legal!representation!acting!on!their!behalf!! !
!

Burden and Standard of Proof

No)formal!burden!and!standard!of!proof!on!any!party!as!the!judge!is!responsible!for!finding!and!presenting!evidence!and!determining!the!truth!

The!presumption!of!innocence!is!not!required!because!the!case!would!not!proceed!against!a!defendant!unless!there!was!evidence!indicating!guilt!

The!pursuit!of!truth!is!the!main!objective!in!the!this!system!of!trial!!
!
Strengths)
Weaknesses)

Cost! of! the! trial! is! borne! by! the! state! rather! than! the! parties! in! • none! criminal!cases!so!parties!are!not!reliant!on!funding!!
!

Critically Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Adversary System
!
Identify!and!explain!the!feature!

Strength)of)the)feature)

Weakness)of)the)feature)

Suggest!a!Reform! o Suggest!a!Reform!!
" Explain!the!weakness!of!the!reform!
" Explain!how!the!reform!overcomes!the!weakness!

Possible reforms to the adversary system of trial












Case)Flow)Management)and)Directions)Hearings!
Most!problems!relate!to!the!delays!cased!by!the!parties!being!in!control!of!their!case!
Under!case!flow!management!the!judge!takes!a!more!active!role!in!determining!the!speed!at!which!matters!should!be!dealt!with!
Directions!hearings!allow!the!judges!to!take!more!control!of!the!case!by!helping!the!parties!to!resolve!the!issues!before!going!to!trial!!
Relaxation)of)rules)of)evidence!
To!allow!other!useful!information!to!be!put!to!the!court!that!could!affect!the!outcome!of!the!trial!
Reduce!the!complexity!of!the!rules!and!achieve!uniformity!between!C/W,!State!and!territory!courts!
Rules!under!review!include!hearsay!rule,!expert!opinion!and!client!privilege!!
Greater)investigative)role)of)the)judge!
Allow!the!judge!to!ask!more!questions!and!call!witnesses!to!ensure!that!cases!are!decided!correctly!in!the!interests!of!finding!the!truth!
BUT!–!judge!could!be!seen!as!being!biased!towards!one!side!and!if!they!descend!into!the!arena!they!lose!the!ability!to!be!impartial!!

Suggested Improvements to the Adversary System




)






! o •



Greater)use)of)written)statements!

Written! statements! of! evidence! are! used! in! committal! proceedings,! saving! the! time! and! inconvenience! to! witnesses! and! the! legal! system! •
Further!use!of!written!evidence!in!trials!such!as!medical!reports!and!police!reports!could!further!save!court!time!and!money.!

BUT)the!evidence!cannot!be!tested!by!the!other!party!under!cross!examination!
Making)Legal)Representation)More)Attainable)

Increased!availability!of!legal!aid!through!increased!government!funding!of!the!service!would!result!in!more!people!being!able!to!gain! access!to!legal!representation!and!thereby!improve!the!preparation!and!presentation!of!their!case!in!court! •
In!2004!increased!funding!of!25!million!to!increase!accessibility!to!legal!aid.!
o Measure!against:!Fair!and!unbiased!hearing,!access!to!dispute!resolution!methods,!timely!resolution!of!disputes!
Less)emphasis)on)Legal)Representation)

Delegation!of!cases!to!mediation!

Greater!use!of!ADR!as!a!means!of!dispute!resolution!where!the!emphasis!is!on!mediation!–!no!need!to!fight!out!the!case!
More)informal)conduct)of)trial)

Greater!use!of!the!Tribunals!which!offer!an!alternative!to!the!adversarial!system!of!settling!disputes!(also!cheaper!and!less!delays)!

Increase!jurisdictions!of!tribunals!to!cover!more!types!of!disputes!
Witnesses)–)(Fair)and)unbiased,)timely)resolution)of)disputes))

Allow!them!to!tell!their!story!in!their!own!words!without!interruption!of!questions!

Judge!could!redirect!them!if!they!stray!or!clear!up!any!ambiguities!through!questioning!witnesses!

Both!parties!could!still!examine!witnesses!

Helps!parties!to!fell!more!relaxed!

Inquisitorial Approaches Being Used in Australian Courts
Coroner’s)Court)
o Aimed!at!determining!the!cause!of!death!or!fire!with!the!absence!of!parties!to!the!case! o Coroner!takes!an!active!role!in!the!investigation!
Family)Court)
o Changes!to!the!family!law!act!(July!2006)!aims!to!shift!the!control!of!the!case!from!the!parties!to!the!judge!in!child!custody!cases!
Increased)use)of)ADP)which)are)more)inquisitorial)than)adversarial)in)nature)
o ADR!being!employed!in!the!Magistrates!Court,!VCAT!and!the!Dispute!Settlement!Centre!
Pre[trial)procedures)
o Judges!are!taking!an!active!role!in!the!case!–!directions!hearings!and!case!list!management!necessitate!judges! o Committal!proceedings!now!rely!heavily!on!written!evidence!

!

The Jury

Aristotle!once!said:!“Some!understand!one!part,!and!some!another!and!among!them!they!understand!the!whole”!

Process of Jury Selection










Excused)for)good)reason)
A!person!may,!at!any!time!before!coming!a!member!of!the!jury!panel,!apply!to!the!Juries!Commissioner!to!be!excused!from!jury!service)
Under)the)Juries)Act)good)reasons)for)being)excused)include:)
Illness!or!poor!health,!incapacity,!the!distance!to!be!travelled)
Substantial!hardship!to!the!person!would!result!from!attending!jury!service)
Substantial!financial!hardship!would!result!from!attending!jury!service!)
Substantial!inconvenience!to!the!public!would!result!from!their!attending!jury!service)
The!person!has!care!of!dependants!and!alternative!care!is!not!available,!The!advanced!age!of!the!person,!the!person!is!a!practising!member!of!a!
religious!order!and!the!beliefs!and!principles!of!that!order!are!incompatible!with!jury!service)
Any!other!matter!of!special!urgency!or!importance)

Exemptions


Temporary!exemption! o People!can!apply!for!temporary!or!permanent!exemption!for!‘good!reason’! o Must!apply!to!the!juries!commissioner!




o E.g.!illness,!primary!carers,!advanced!age,!distance!from!court!house!
Every!case!is!examined!on!its!merit!and!decided!accordingly!
Permanently!excused! o Due!to!continuing!poor!health,!disability!or!advanced!age!

Ineligible



People!considered!too!closely!involved!with!the!legal!process!e.g.!judges,!lawyers,!police)
Perceived!lack!of!suitability!to!be!able!to!undertake!the!tasks!of!a!juror!due!to!mental!illness,!physical!disability!or!poor!English)

Disqualified


People!considered!unsuitable!for!jury!duty!due!to!something!they!have!done!in!the!past,! o Committed!an!indictable!offence! o Been!imprisoned!for!3!years!or!more! o Within!past!5>10!years!sentenced/detained!for!3!or!more!months!>!including!CBO,!YTC,!suspended!sentence! o On!bail! o An!undischarged!bankrupt!

Process of Jury selection
!
1.
2.
3.

4.
5.
6.

7.

Juries!Commissioner!calls!for!jury!list!
Electoral!Commissioner!drafts!lists!from!names!on!the!electoral!roll!
Juries!Commissioner!sends!questionnaires!to!determine!if!prospective!jurors!are! o Disqualified,!excused,!ineligible!%!No)summons)for)jury)service! o Eligible!
If!Eligible,)summons!sent!to!attend!jury!service!
Jury!pool,!attend!court,!balloted!to!cases!
Allocated!to!courtroom!
o Criminal!cases! o Civil!cases!
Name!and!occupation!called!out!
o Challenge!
$
Not!selected!(returns!to!jury!pool,!jury!filled!before!juror!called)!
$
Challenge!‘for!causes’!not!accepted!%!GO!TO!‘No!Challenge’! o No!Challenge!
$
Jury!panel!%!Jury!sworn!in!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Jurors
Advantages
Independent)fact)finding)body)

Juries!are!often!referred!to!as!the!lamp!of!freedom.!The!jury!consists!of!ordinary!women!and!men)

They!are!not!prejudiced!by!past!experiences!with!the!operation!of!the!legal!system)

They!are!not!bound!by!the!rules!of!precedent)

They!provide!a!fresh!view!of!how!the!law!should!be!applied!to!a!set!of!circumstances.!They!are!independent!of!political!pressures!and!reflect!the! common!sense!values!of!the!community!!!!) Protect)Democracy)





Judges!are!appointed!to!the!court,!they!are!not!elected!democratically!to!their!positions.!Their!decisions!do!not!necessarily!reflect!community! values!and!attitudes) A!jury,!on!the!other!hand,!is!selected!from!people!in!the!community.!It!provides!for!the!input!of!the!community!into!the!operation!and! administration!of!justice!since!the!jury!reflects!community!views!and!attitudes.) Members!of!the!jury,!as!representatives!of!the!community,!reflect!the!values!of!the!majority!of!people!in!the!decisions!that!the!jury!makes)
The!importance!of!the!role!of!the!jury!is!recognised!in!this!Constitution.!The!use!of!the!jury!ensures!public!scrutiny!of!the!function!of!the!courts.!
The!jury!system!is!therefore!considered!a!safeguard!of!basic!human!rights)

Cross)section)of)the)community)

Juries!act!as!a!barometer!of!social!norms,!values!and!opinions!of!the!times.!The!fact!that!the!jury’s!verdict!is!decided!by!ordinary!citizens!drawn! from!the!community!ensures!that!court!decisions!are!more!likely!to!be!accepted!by!the!community) •
Juries!understand!and!predict!how!an!ordinary!person!would!behave!in!the!circumstances)

The!wider!range!of!experiences!means!that!juries!can!apply!a!‘street>wise’!understanding!of!the!circumstances!rather!than!a!legalistic!view.!The!
real!merit!of!jury!trial!is!that!it!brings!the!common!sense!of!the!average!person!into!the!courtroom!to!temper,!in!appropriate!cases,!the!rigidity!of! the!law) Public)Scrutiny)




In!a!criminal!trial,!the!conduct!of!the!police!and!the!courts!are!on!show.!The!jury!can!see!how!these!bodies!are!working!
The!jury!in!this!way!ensures!that!the!administration!of!the!law!is!scrutinised!by!the!community!through!its!representatives.!To!some!extent,!each!
of!the!participants!involved!in!the!trial!–!the!police,!the!prosecution,!the!judge!and!the!legal!profession!–!is!accountable!through!the!use!of!the! jury! Ensures)fair)treatment)

The!prosecution!must!prove!to!the!jury!that!the!accused!is!guilty!beyond!reasonable!doubt.!The!jury!is!directed!by!the!judge!to!return!a!finding!of! not!guilty!if!the!jury!believes!that!the!prosecution!cannot!prove!the!guilt!of!the!accused) Flexibility)

The!jury!can!depart!from!a!strict!application!of!the!law!and!apply!its!own!sense!of!justice.!A!jury!can!ignore!obsolete!and!out>dated!precedents!

Judges,!however,!tend!to!consider!themselves!bound!to!precedents.!Although!the!jury!is!informed!of!the!common!law!and!statute!law!applicable! to!a!given!set!of!the!facts,!it!does!not!have!to!apply!these!to!the!case! •
Juries!do!not!have!to!give!a!legal!reason!for!their!decisions!
Ensures)less)legal)jargon)

The!involvement!of!the!jury!means!that!the!law!must!be!simplified!so!that!an!ordinary!person!can!understand!it!

This!encourages!lawyers!to!present!evidence!in!a!logical!and!understandable!way!

The!presence!of!the!jury!limits!the!excessive!use!of!legal!jargon!
Spreads)the)responsibility)

The!more!people!these!are!involved!in!the!decision!making!process,!the!less!likely!it!is!that!personal!prejudices!will!influence!the!verdict.!
Therefore,!the!decision!is!more!likely!to!be!seen!as!fair.!The!jury!consists!of!anonymous!men!and!women!

If!a!judge!alone!makes!a!decision,!a!person!dissatisfied!with!the!decision!may!identify!the!judge!as!responsible!

However,!a!decision!made!by!a!jury!is!not!made!by!one!person.!The!final!decision!is!therefore!more!likely!to!be!seen!as!a!decision!of!the! community! Disadvantages

Judges)are)better)able)to)make)decisions)

Judges!can!draw!inferences!and!reach!sound!conclusions!about!the!facts!and!evidence!presented!by!lawyers!

Judges!and!magistrates!are!trained!for!this.!They!are!better!equipped!to!perform!the!fact>finding!function!than!juries.!They!are!less!susceptible! than!juries!to!emotions,!in!most!cases! •
Many!criminal!and!civil!cases!involve!legal!and!technical!complexities.!These!cases!demand!the!expertise!of!an!experienced!professional!judge!
Juries)do)not)give)reasons)

How!a!jury!reaches!its!decision!in!the!jury!room!has!never!been!investigated.!Other!than!the!judge’s!final!summing!up!and!advice,!the!jury!is!not! given!any!direction!or!formula!to!reach!a!decision.! •
Although!the!jury!must!reach!a!decision,!there!is!no!guarantee!that!all!jurors!will!have!the!same!reasons!for!their!verdict!

It!is!considered!important!that!juries!should!give!reasons!for!their!decision.!This!would!provide!grounds!for!appeal!if!the!decision!of!the!jury!were!
not!based!on!the!evidence!presented.!Because!juries!do!not!give!reasons!for!their!decisions,!there!is!no!way!to!check!that!the!jury!understood!the! evidence!or!the!judge’s!charge!to!the!jury! Costly)and)time)consuming)

While!jurors!do!not!receive!substantial!payment!for!jury!service,!they!still!must!be!paid!

Trial!by!jury!tends!to!lengthen!the!legal!process!

Significant!time!is!taken!to!empanel!the!jury.!The!time!taken!to!hear!a!case!is!often!‘stretched’!when!juries!are!sent!out!of!the!courtroom!while! lawyers!establish!the!admissibility!of!evidence!or!debate!points!of!procedure.!Further!time!is!taken!for!the!jury!to!deliberate!on!its!verdict.!The! longer!the!trial!takes!to!reach!a!conclusion,!the!greater!the!costs!
Understanding)evidence)

Juries!are!made!up!of!ordinary!men!and!women.!They!come!from!various!professional!and!non>professional!backgrounds.!Juries!are!not!given!any!
special!training.!Jurors!are!expected!to!understand!and!appreciated!the!adversary!process!as!well!as!legal!formalities!

Juries!are!required!to!listen!to!evidence,!collate!information,!recall!information,!analyse!the!arguments!presented!by!both!parties!and!reach!a! verdict.!The!average!person!would!find!it!difficult!to!sit!and!listen!for!more!than!45!minutes!without!losing!concentration,!but!many!cases!take! says,!weeks,!or!even!longer!
Easily)influenced)by)emotional)bias)or)rhetoric)

The!courtroom!can!be!likened!to!a!theatre!where!each!lawyer!is!a!player!who!‘struts!upon!his!hour!upon!the!stage’)

The!skill!and!eloquence!of!the!barrister!may!have!more!influence!on!the!jury!than!the!actual!evidence!in!question.!Skilled!barristers!have!gained!
reputations!for!their!courtroom!performances.!These!presentations!may!appeal!to!members!of!the!jury,!and!their!influence!may!be!unduly! reflected!in!the!decision!reached!by!the!jury.!) Inconsistent)assessments)of)damages)

It!has!been!argued!that!juries!are!excessively!‘pro>plaintiff’.!Juries!tend!to!favour!the!plaintiff!if!the!action!involves!an!individual!against!a!large! company! •

Assessment!of!damages!in!civil!cases!is!inconsistent!and!unpredictable.!This!results!in!a!lack!of!certainty.!There!is!no!guarantee!that!the!jury!will! accurately!assess!the!damages! Unanimous)v.)majority)verdicts)

Juries!are!encouraged!to!deliberate!until!they!reach!a!unanimous!decision!

This!may!sometimes!take!days,!and!lengthens!the!trial!and!increases!costs!and!places!pressure!on!jury!members!to!reach!agreement!

By!comparison,!a!majority!verdict!is!required!in!all!other!indictable!offences.!These!verdicts!save!time!and!expense!

The!community!accepts!majority!verdicts,!however,!some!people!suggest!that!in!criminal!case!a!majority!verdict!means!that!at!least!one!had!a! reasonable!doubt! Not)a)cross)section)of)society)

Many!people!do!not!perform!jury!service!because!they!are!in!one!of!the!ineligible!categories!

For!example,!people!who!are!involved!with!the!legal!profession!(lawyers,!magistrates,!court!reporters,!police!and!judges)!are!not!allowed!to!serve! on!a!jury! •
Others!may!be!excuses!for!good!reason.!Many!argue!that!the!range!of!people!who!are!excused!from!jury!service!is!too!broad,!therefore,!the!jury!
still!does!not!represent!a!cross!section!of!the!community!
Acquittals)too)high)

A!major!criticism!is!that!a!jury!is!more!likely!to!acquit!the!accused!in!criminal!cases!

Therefore,!although!the!high!acquittal!rates!by!juries!are!frequently!cited!as!evidence!that!they!are!not!functioning!effectively,!these!rates!may!
also!be!seen!as!evidence!that!they!are!acting!as!an!important!safeguard!to!protect!the!innocent!
Perverse)Verdicts)

A!perverse!verdict!occurs!when!the!jury!decides!a!case!against!the!proper!application!of!the!law!

Although!the!ability!of!a!jury!to!disregard!a!‘bad’!law!is!seen!as!an!important!safeguard,!the!potential!for!a!jury!not!to!apply!the!law!to!the!facts!of!
the!case!may!also!act!to!pervert!(or!undermine)!the!normal!course!of!justice!

Reforms to the Jury Systems

A reform is an improvement made to the present system to enhance the operation of the jury system
Giving)reasons)

This!would!make!juries!accountable!for!their!verdicts!and!these!would!be!less!likelihood!or!jurors!agreeing!on!a!verdict!for!the!sake!of!getting!it!
over!and!done!with,!or!reaching!a!decision!founded!on!dubious!grounds!

Also,!the!written!reasons!could!be!submitted!to!the!judge!and/or!counsel.!If!there!were!any!question!regarding!the!validity!of!the!verdict,!the! matter!could!be!dealt!with!by!the!court,!or!the!information!could!be!used!in!an!appeal! •
In! addition,! written! reasons! would! provide! the! court! with! some! idea! of! the! extent! to! which! the! jury! had! understood! the! facts! of! the! case,! followed!its!development,!noted!which!evidence!was!the!most!convincing!and!formed!appropriate!opinions!of!the!accused.! !

On)the)other)hand,)compelling)jurors)to)give)reasons)could)result)in)a)number)of)difficulties.)For)example,)jurors)may)reach)the)same)verdict)for) different) reasons.) It) may) be) extremely) difficult) to) present) a) statement) of) the) different) reasons) that) led) to) a) decision.) This) could) result) in) an) increased)number)of)appeals! Not)Proven)Verdict)

The!double!jeopardy!rule!provides!that!a!person!found!not!guilty!cannot!be!tried!again!for!the!same!offence.!It!has!been!suggested!that!juries!be! given!the!option!of!a!‘not!proven’!verdict.! •
In!Scotland,!juries!have!the!option!of!a!not!proven!verdict.!When!this!occurs!the!accused!is!discharged,!but!can!be!tried!again!if!new!evidence!is!
forthcoming!

A!not!proven!verdict!has!three!advantages.! o It!may!avoid!situations!where!there!is!a!hung!jury.!! o May!avoid!the!issue!of!double!jeopardy! o Would!reduce!the!incidence!of!jurors!agreeing!because!they!feel!compelled!to!reach!a!verdict,!irrespective!of!whether!it!is!‘guilty’! of!‘not!guilty’! !

May)provide)an)easy)option)for)jurors)to)avoid)the)responsibility)of)convicting)or)acquitting)
More)representative)group)

It!is!important!that!juries!be!representative!of!the!community!if!they!are!to!be!respected)

This!could!be!achieved!in!two!ways)
o The!number!of!people!exempt!or!excused!from!jury!duty!could!be!further!reduced) o Increased! education! about! the! importance! of! jury! service,! as! well! as! providing! increased! payments! to! jurors,! may! encourage! more! people!to!serve!on!juries) Specialist)foreperson)

It!has!been!suggested!that!a!professional!foreperson!
!
GO!TO!TEXTBOOK,!PAGE!280!AND!WRITE!UP!THE!LAST!ONE!
)

Evaluation of the effectiveness of the jury system
Fair and Unbiased



The! jury! selection! process! ensures! that! only! those! people! with! no! prior! experience! with! the! legal! system! can! serve! on! a! jury! –! preserving! its! impartiality!and!independence! Changes!to!the!Juries!Act!2000!ensure!that!jurors!are!impartial!and!independent!people!from!all!walks!of!life,!age,!occupation,!and!background!

Jurors!are!required!to!divulge!their!acquaintance!with!any!witnesses!or!parties!to!the!case,!and!will!be!excused!from!that!particular!jury!in!order! to!upload!an!unbiased!hearing! •
Must!begin!by!explaining!what!is!fair!and!unbiased!

Any!juror!likely!to!be!biased!in!a!case!is!likely!to!be!challenged!by!legal!counsel!

People!who!choose!to!plead!not!guilty!are!safeguarded!by!the!presence!of!the!jury!against!oppressive!prosecution!(misuse!of!power)!

The!number!of!the!variety!of!jurors!help!to!ensure!that!a!fair!decision!is!made!–!unlikely!that!12!people!will!hold!the!same!biases!as!compared!to!a!
single!judge!sitting!alone!

Decisions!are!more!likely!to!be!correct!as!the!individual!biases!are!likely!to!be!counterbalanced!by!the!rest!of!the!group!
Negatives)

Some!jurors!may!be!influenced!by!the!media!or!legal!counsel!or!may!have!difficulty!setting!aside!any!preconceived!ideas!or!biases!
However)

With!both!sides!having!the!right!to!challenge!potential!jurors!there!is!still!the!concern!that!the!jury!does!not!represent!a!true!cross!section!of!the! community! •
It!is!almost!impossible!for!jurors!not!to!be!influenced!by!their!own!values,!and!judgments!when!assessing!evidence.!Some!people!may!not!have!
the!ability!to!remain!objective!and!impartial!in!their!assessment!of!the!evidence!and!personal!bias!may!prevail!rather!than!logic!

Jurors!are!often!influenced!by!the!rhetoric!of!counsel!whose!verbal!skills!prove!more!convincing!that!the!evidence!!

Media!influences!
!


Timely Resolution








!

The!use!of!a!jury!adds!to!the!time!take!in!trials,!so!it!does!not!assist!in!the!achievement!of!this!element!
Time!is!taken!up!at!a!number!of!stages!in!the!trial!
The!empanelment!of!the!jury!takes!time!if!questions!of!law!need!to!be!resolved!
The!trial!is!paused!while!the!jurors!file!back!into!the!jury!room!and!then!back!once!the!issue!has!been!decided!
Jury!deliberations!take!a!longer!time!than!would!be!used!by!a!judge!alone!
Hung!juries!
If!the!outcome!is!a!mistrial!or!a!hung!jury,!then!the!result!is!a!retrial!that!will!consume!even!more!court!time!
The!requirement!for!a!unanimous!verdict!leads!to!a!number!of!hung!juries!

Access

In!a!criminal!trial!the!cost!of!having!a!jury!is!borne!by!the!state!and!ultimately!the!taxpayers!

Simplification!of!procedures!–!legal!counsel!must!use!language!that!jurors!can!understand!
However)

In!civil!trials!the!party!that!requests!the!use!of!a!jury!is!responsible!for!paying!for!it.!This!can!be!expensive!with!the!first!day!of!the!jury!costing!
around!$469,!days!2!to!6!costing!$342!a!day!and!$678!a!day!after!7!days.!These!costs!may!dissuade!parties!from!using!a!jury!in!their!civil!trials!

Limited!right!of!appeal,!as!juries!give!no!reason!for!their!verdicts.!Publics!can!never!be!sure!if!they!understood!the!key!facts!presented!at!trial!
!

!

!

Criminal Procedure
Court Processes and Procedures


!

Bail!Application! o Bail/Remand!
Indictable!Offence!
o Committal!Mention!Hearing!–!Hand!up!Brief!%!Directions!Hearing!

Sanctions

!

Hierarchy!of!Sanctions! o Custodial! o Non!Custodial!

Effectiveness of Processes and Procedures
!




Problems/Difficulties!
Proposed/Recent!Changes!

Introduction

A!crime!is!an!act!or!omission!committed!against!the!community!that!is!punishable!by!the!state.!The!state!is!responsible!for!prosecuting!offenders.!
There!are!three!types!of!criminal!offences!

Summary!Offences!

Indictable!Offences!tried!summarily!

Indictable!Offences!
!
The!parties!involved!in!a!criminal!case!are!the!accused!(defendant),!prosecution!(Police!Prosecutor/DPP).!The!prosecution!bears!the!burden!of!proof!
that!is!based!on!beyond!reasonable!doubt!
!

Processes
Criminal!procedures!are!used!to!investigate,!prosecute,!and!sanction!an!offender.!
!
Pre)Trial)procedures)(Investigate))–)Pre!trial!procedures!are!those!that!occur!before!a!case!gets!to!the!stage!of!a!court!trial,!e.g.!Investigation,!Bail!and!
Remand,!and!Committal!Hearings!
!
Trial)procedures)–)Are!those!procedures!or!processes!that!occur!during!the!course!of!the!criminal!trial!of!the!accused,!i.e.!Adversary!System!
!

Post)Trial)procedures)–)Post!trial!procedures!include!those!processes!to!determine!the!sanction!given!to!the!accused,!once!they!have!been!found! guilty!of,!or!pleaded!guilty!to!a!crime! !
Crime)Committed)
Crime!committed!%!Police!Investigation!%!Arrested/Summons!%!Bail!or!remand!
!
!

Pre-Investigations – Bail, remand, committal
!

Bail

The!conditional!release!back!into!the!community!of!a!suspect!charged!with!a!crime!until!the!conclusion!of!their!trial)
Recognises!the!presumption!of!innocence!
!

Aim! o To!allow!an!accused!person!to!go!free!until!hearing/trial! o Allows!the!person!time!out!of!custody!to!prepare!their!case!

Granting!Bail! o Depositing!a!sum!of!money!to!the!court!as!a!guarantee!of!appearance!–!if!they!fail!to!appear!they!forfeit!the!money!!

Bail!Act!1977!(Vic)!assumes!bail!will!be!granted!unless!there!is!a!specific!reason!to!refuse!bail!(exceptional!circumstances)! o In!determining!exceptional!circumstances!factors!to!be!considered!include!
$
The!nature!and!seriousness!of!the!offence,!character!of!the!accused!
$
Strength!of!the!evidence!and!
$
Prior!convictions!

Bail!may!be!refused!if!the!magistrates!believes!the!accused!may:! o Tamper/interfere!with!evidence/witness! o Abscond! o Be!a!risk!to!the!community!!

Bail!conditions!may!be!set!–!these!are!strict!conditions!to!ensure!protection!of!the!community! o Forfeit!passport! o Not!communicate!with!witnesses! o Regular!reporting!to!the!police!

Surety!! o A!person!who!agree!to!ensure!the!attendance!of!a!suspect!at!court!by!putting!up!security! o Take!steps!to!ensure!that!bail!conditions!are!being!upheld!

!
Remand
Aim


)

To!protect!society!by!retaining!accused!people!in!custody!who!the!court!believes!may!cause!further!harm!to!society!through!reoffending,! harming!others,!tampering!with!evidence,!or!not!turning!up!for!trial! o When!an!application!for!bail!by!an!accused!is!refused! o When!a!person!is!held!in!custody!awaiting!a!trial,!during!a!trial!or!awaiting!sentence! o If!found!guilty!at!trial!–!time!spend!in!remand!is!deducted!from!the!sentence)but!if!found!not!guilty!they!are!not!entitled!to! compensation!from!the!State! Problems

!





Have!not!yet!had!trial!
May!be!innocent!
Denies!the!presumption!of!innocence!

Factors that influence an offender to plead guilty






)
)




Sentence!Indication!Scheme!(2007)) o Get!an!indication!of!the!sentence!likely!to!receive!before!deciding!whether!to!plead!guilty!or!not!guilty) o Sentencing!discount!in!return!for!a!guilty!plea)
Aim!to!give!defendants!informed!choices!and!speed!up!the!court!processes!as!well!as!sparing!victims!delays!and!cross!examination)
Currently!judges!must!take!into!account!a!guilty!plea!when!determining!an!appropriate!sentence)
Plea!bargaining)
o Involves!agreement!between!the!accused!and!the!prosecutor!on!the!charges!to!be!laid)
May!lead!to!some!charges!being!dropped!in!exchange!for!a!guilty!plea!or!for!giving!evidence)
Reduces!delays!and!court!time)

Committal Hearing


Conducted!in!the!Magistrates!Court!to!determine!if!a!prima)facie!(is!there!enough!evidence!to!ensure!a!conviction!in!a!higher!court)!case! exists) o Is!there!sufficient!evidence!against!the!defendant!to!support!a!conviction!by!a!jury!in!a!higher!court)



To!determine!whether!there!is!sufficient!evidence!to!support!a!conviction!for!the!offence!charged!so!that!only!strong!cases!proceed!to!trial! in!a!high!court! To!avoid!wasting!time!and!expense!of!taking!a!case!to!trial!that!is!unlikely!to!succeed!because!of!insufficient!prosecution!evidence!

)

Aim

!



Committal Mention Hearing



!




Conducted!at!the!start!of!the!proceedings!where!the!Magistrate!is!informed!of!the!number!of!witnesses!to!be!called!and!the!anticipated! length!of!the!hearing! A!date!is!set!for!the!committal!
The!defendant!may!plead!at!this!stage!

Hand-up brief

)
)








Written!statements!of!witnesses!are!gathered!in!a!legal!brief!and!given!to!the!magistrate)
The!Magistrate!will!determine!if!there!is!enough!prosecution!evidence!to!proceed!with!trial)
If!YES!–!the!accused!is!then!asked!to!enter!a!plea)
Evidence!collected!during!the!hearing!will!be!sent!to!the!OPP!to!use!at!trial)
The!case!can!bypass!this!stage!if!the!accused!requests!the!DPP!present!a!case!directly!to!trial!–!direct!indictment/presentment)
The!OPP!can!also!send!a!case!to!trial!regardless!of!the!magistrates!decision!in!the!committal!hearing)

Committal Hearing – traditional




!









Defendant’s!name!is!called!and!the!charge!is!read!–!they!do!not!have!to!plead!at!this!stage!
Prosecution!calls!witnesses!(examination!process!x!3)!
Expert!evidence!of!witnesses!is!recorded!and!all!evidence!presented!by!the!Prosecution!is!collected!into!a!deposition!(evidence!of!a!witness! in!written!form!rather!than!oral)! Defence!is!given!the!opportunity!to!call!witnesses!and!make!submissions!
Defendants!who!plead!not!guilty!may!decide!to!reserve!evidence!for!trial!
If!not!–!the!same!process!as!Prosecution!is!followed!
Defence!is!given!the!opportunity!to!call!witnesses!and!make!submissions!
Defendants!who!plead!not!guilty!may!decide!to!reserve!evidence!for!trial!
If!not!–!the!same!process!as!Prosecution!is!followed!
After!all!evidence!has!been!heard!the!Magistrate!decides!if!there!is!enough!evidence!to!support!a!conviction!is!a!higher!court.!

Following the Committal
Defendant committed to stand trial o o o Case!if!forwarded!to!the!Crown!Prosecutor!for!the!preparation!of!a!presentment!(written!accusation!charging!a!person!with!a! crime)! OPP!may!decide!not!to!continue!
$
Enter!nolle!prosequi!(stops!prosecution)!
Accused!can!still!be!returned!to!court!at!a!future!date.!

Prosecution is discharged o o

!

Defendant!is!released!but!can!be!charged!at!a!later!date!and!face!another!committal!
Assists!prosecution!due!to!double!jeopardy!rule!as!the!case!has!not!proceeded!to!trial!

)

Strengths/Weakness of Committal Process
Refer to PG. 211, textbook
Strengths)

Hand>up!brief!procedure!allows!flexibility!to!suit!the!needs!
of!the!parties!involved.!For!example,!sexual!assault!matters! conducted!by!way!of!hand>up!brief!offers!protection!to!the! victim!from!unnecessary!cross>examination!at!this!early! stage.!It!also!saves!time!and!the!possible!trauma!associated! with!a!criminal!hearing)

Committal!hearings!allow!for!early!and!full!disclosure!of!
Crown!evidence.!This!encourages!an!early!plea!of!guilty!
from!a!defendant!where!the!Crown!case!is!considered!to!be! strong.!Where!the!accused!does!change!their!plea!before! the!trial,!this!may!result!in!a!reduction!in!the!eventual! sentence!at!trial) •
Where!the!magistrate!dismisses!the!case!at!the!committal!
stage,!this!saves!the!time!and!expense!of!having!such!cases! proceed!to!the!County!or!Supreme!Courts,!where!the! outcome!of!the!case!would!most!likely!have!been!a!finding! of!not!guilty) Weaknesses)

Even!with!hand>up!brief!processes,!a!victim!may!still!be! required!at!the!committal!stage!to!testify!under!cross! examination,!possibly!resulting!in!added!trauma!for!that! person) •
The!use!of!committal!hearings!leads!to!delays!in!the!
eventual!trial,!causing!increased!stress!for!remand!prisoners! who!may!be!found!not!guilty!at!trial.!In!such!instances,!the! suspect’s!essential!rights!are!at!risk!if!he!or!she!is!held!in! custody!for!an!unnecessarily!lengthy!period) •
In!spite!of!committal!hearings!occurring,!there!is!still!a!
significant!incidence!of!defendants!being!found!not!guilty!at! the!trial!where!it!was!clear!that!the!prosecution!case!was! weak.!In!these!instances,!the!value!of!having!a!committal! hearing!is!questionable.) !

Post-Trial Procedures
Sentencing


!

If!a!person!is!found!guilty!a!sentencing!hearing!is!held!to!determine!what!sentence!to!give!
Both!the!Prosecution!and!the!Defence!present!information!about!the!defendant!(the!defendant!may!have!helped!the!prosecution!in!
investigating!other!cases,!the!prosecution!will!say!‘good!things’!about!the!defendant!as!goodwill)!

Just!
Punishment!

Community! protecvon! Aims!of! sancvons! Deterrence!

Rehabilitavon!

Denunciavon!

!

Just Punishment


To!punish!the!offender!in!a!manner!that!is!just,!given!the!circumstances!in!which!the!offence!has!been!committed!



To!deter!the!offender!or!others!from!committing!the!same!or!a!similar!offence! o Specific!deterrence! o General!deterrence!




To!establish!the!conditions!that!would!alter!or!modify!the!behaviour!of!an!individual!so!that!they!will!not!commit!the!same!offence!again!
The!Drug!Court!–!that!will!deal!specifically!with!drug!issues!
o Includes!general!education!programs!and!drug!dependency!programs!



!

To!demonstrate!the!court’s!condemnation!of!the!particular!type!of!behaviour!in!which!the!offender!has!been!involved!

Deterrence
!

Rehabilitation

!

Denunciation
)
Community Protection
To!protect!the!community!against!the!potentially!harmful!actions!of!individuals!
Involves!removing!an!offender!from!the!community!so!that!the!threat!of!harm!to!others!is!removed!
Imprisonment!–!last!resort!

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.

!





Imprisonment!
Combined!custody!and!treatment!order!
Drug!treatment!order!
Home!detention!
Intensive!correction!order!in!the!community!
Suspended!sentence!
Youth!justice!centre!or!youth!residential!centre!order!
A!community>based!order!with!or!without!recording!a!conviction!
Fine,!with!or!without!recording!a!conviction!
!Release!the!offender,!adjourning!the!hearing!and!imposing!condition,!with!or!without!recording!a!conviction!
!Discharge,!dismissal!or!adjournment!

Types of Sanctions – Hierarchy of sentencing

!
!

Factors in Sentencing



!
!

Victim!Impact!Statements! o Statements!made!by!those!affected!which!include!specific!details!about!the!injury,!loss!or!damage!suffered.!!
Sentencing!Act!1991!(Vic)!
o Maximum!penalty!for!the!offence! o Current!sentencing!practices! o Nature!and!gravity!of!the!offence! o Offender’s!culpability!and!degree!of!responsibility! o If!the!offender!pleaded!guilty!to!the!offence! o Aggravating/mitigating!factors! o Previous!character!(priors)!

Sanction
Sanction

Explanation

How fulfils aims of sanctions

Fines)

A!monetary!penalty!imposed!for!an!offence!–!set!out!in!the!
Acts!–!Penalty!Units!

A!fine!serves!to!punish!the!offender!and!may!act!as!a!specific! deterrence.!It!may!also!act!as!a!general!deterrence!to!the! Imposed!with/without!conviction!!
Takes!into!account!the!financial!circumstances!of!the!offender!
Can!be!paid!in!instalments!
Under!the!Act!the!financial!circumstances!of!the!offender!and!
the!nature!of!the!offender!and!the!nature!of!the!burden!of!the! payment!will!impose!must!be!considered! !
If!the!fine!is!not!paid!the!offender!can!be!imprisoned/orders!
to!do!community!work!
!
One!day!imprisonment!=!1!penalty!unit!(max!24!months)!
One!hour!unpaid!community!work!for!each!0.2!penalty!unity!–!
minimum!8!hours!and!max!500!hours!
!
Penalty!unit!=!$122.14!in!the!2011>12!financial!year!
Imprisonment) Involves!taking!away!a!person’s!liberty!and!detaining!them!in! jail!for!a!certain!period!of!time! !
The!judge!provides!a!maximum!and!minimum!sentence.!!
!
After!the!minimum!period!the!period!the!prisoner’s!suitability!
for!parole!is!reviewed!by!the!Parole!Board!
!
Magistrate’s!Court!is!limited!in!the!length!of!sentence!it!may! impose!(2!yrs!–!1!offence,!5!years!for!2!or!more)! Maximum!term!can!only!be!imposed!by!the!Supreme!Court!
Time!spent!in!remand!is!deducted!from!the!sentence!
!
Terms!of!imprisonment!can!be!served!concurrently!–!runs!at!
the!same!time!as!other!sentences!
OR!
Cumulative!sentence!will!be!served!after!another!sentence!

Home) detention) orders)

During!the!period!of!the!order,!offenders!wear!an!electronic! bracelet,!which!interacts!with!a!small!monitoring!unit! attached!to!the!telephone!at!the!offender’s!home.!Supervising! officers!also!use!mobile!units!that!interact!with!the!bracelet,! so!that!officers!can!check!whether!the!offender!is!at!an! approved!location!such!as!a!training!session,!workplace!or! visiting!a!nominated!counselor.!The!bracelet!indicates!if!a! person!is!within!a!permissible!boundary! Family!members!and!potential!co>residents!must!give! permission!for!the!offender!to!serve!home!detention.!Courts! can!sentence!offenders!to!a!maximum!twelve!months!on! home!detention.!Offenders!approved!by!the!Adult!Parole! Board!can!serve!up!to!six!months.!
Offenders!may!still!participate!in!employment,!and!maintain!
family!and!community!ties,!but!their!freedom!is!significantly! restricted.!Offenders!are!subject!to!an!electronic!monitoring! system,!and!must!observe!a!strict!curfew!and!submit!to! random!breath!and!urine!tests.!As!a!part!of!home!detention,! offenders!may!also!be!required!to!undertake!programs!to! address!offending>related!behavior,!including!education,! training,!volunteer!work,!or!counseling.!Offenders!have! regular!face>to>!face!meetings!with!their!supervising!officers! as!well!as!random!home!visits!to!check!on!their!progress.!

community!because!of!the!possibility!of!having!to!pay!the!fine!
!
If!a!court!gave!an!extremely!high!fine!this!would!act!as!a!way!of! denouncing!the!crime) Imprisonment!is!seen!as!the!sanction!of!last!resort.!It!removes!the! offender!from!society!as!a!punishment!for!offending!against!society! and!as!a!protection!for!society!as!serious!criminals!are!removed! from!society! !
Imprisonment!may!lead!to!rehabilitation!because!of!the!various!
programs!offered!to!prisoners,!but!it!is!more!likely!to!lead!to!other! crimes!because!of!the!influence!of!other!prisoners!and!the!difficulty! of!returning!to!a!normal!life!after!having!been!in!prison!
!
Courts!can!impose!long!sentences!on!offenders!by!way!of!showing! disapproval!of!the!acts!committed!denunciation! !
Imprisonment!is!likely!to!act!as!a!general!deterrence!in!that!most!
people!would!be!deterred!from!committing!a!crime!by!the! possibility!of!going!to!prison.!It!may!also!act!as!a!specific!deterrence! in!that!the!offender!will!not!want!to!go!to!prison!again.!
!
However!as!they!mix!with!other!criminals!it!may!not!be!very! effective!as!a!specific!deterrence.! The!focus!is!on!rehabilitation!because!home!detention!orders!allow! offenders!to!maintain!community!ties!through!employment!and! education,!and!enable!families!to!stay!together.!!
Offenders!identify,!develop!and!maintain!supports!in!their!local!
community.!Organized!programs,!employment!and!unpaid! community!work,!provide!positive!contributions!which!benefit!the! community.!There!is!also!protection!for!the!community!and!a! deterrent!factor!because!although!offenders!are!able!to!live!outside! of!the!prison!environment,!they!still!face!heavy!restrictions!on!their! movement!and!are!constantly!supervised.! When!a!serious!breach!occurs,!the!Adult!Parole!Board!may!revoke! the!home!detention!order!and!issue!a!warrant!for!the!offender’s! arrest.!One!of!the!most!likely!outcomes!of!a!breach!of!a!home! detention!order!is!that!the!offender!would!be!returned!to!prison!to! serve!out!his!or!her!term.!
)

!

)
)

Recent Changes and Recommendations for Change

!

Assessment and Referral Court List of the Magistrates’ Court (commenced 2010)


Provides!a!specialist!court!for!people!suffering!from!mental!health!problems!who!have!been!accused!on!a!crime!

!

Koori Court Division



The!county!court!Amendment!(Koori!court)!Act!2008!established!the!Koori!court!division!of!the!county!court!and!provides!for!the!jurisdiction! and!procedure!of!that!division.! Drug Court/Family Violence Division


Drug!Court!

Aims!to!rehabilitate!offenders!involved!in!drug!use!and!reduce!recidivism!

Family!Violence!Division!

Aims!to!make!access!easier!for!people!suffering!family!violence!and!to!make!the!process!of!applying!for!an!intervention!order! easier! !

Multi Jurisdictional Court






!

The!Moorabbin!Justice!Centre!(2007)!and!Collingwood!Neighbourhood!Justice!Centre!offers!the!services!of!the!Magistrates!court,!children’s! court,!VCAT!and!Victims!of!crime!Assistance!Tribunal!to!resident!sin!the!region.! An!alternative!way!of!dealing!with!crime!and!conflict.!!
A!model!of!voluntary!settlement!between!victims/offenders!and!communities!
Aim!

To!improve!access!and!justice!for!socially!disadvantages!offenders!such!as!low!income,!unemployed,!poorly!educated!people!

Focus!is!on!restorative!and!therapeutic!justice!
It!allows!offenders!to!take!accountability!for!their!actions,!victims!to!have!a!voice!and!achieve!redress!and!the!community!to!play!a!part!in!
repairing!the!harm!caused!and!preventing!further!offending!or!conflicts.!

Timely Resolution of Disputes







!


It!is!important!that!once!the!suspect!of!a!crime!has!been!identified!they!are!not!kept!waiting!for!their!case!to!be!heard.!
Delays!in!criminal!cases!could!cause!

Emotional!strain!for!the!accused!and!their!family!

Stigma!of!being!accused!with!a!crime!

Possible!loss!of!job!

Disruption!of!family!life!

If!held!on!remand!

Physical!and!mental!effects!of!spending!time!in!prison!

Difficulty!in!preparing!case!

Availability!of!witnesses!>!memories!
It!is!also!essential!that!cases!be!resolved!in!a!timely!manner!for!the!benefit!of!the!victim,!society!and!the!legal!system!
But!not!too!quickly!that!there!has!not!been!time!to!consider!all!the!facts!of!the!case!to!ensure!a!fair!outcome!
!
The!following!processes!attempt!to!achieve!a!timely!resolution!of!disputes:!

COMMITTAL!HEARINGS!

Ensure!that!people!accused!of!a!crime!do!not!have!to!wait!a!long!time!for!trial!when!there!is!insufficient!evidence!to!
support!a!conviction!by!a!jury!at!trial!

Also!prevents!superior!courts!from!being!clogged!up!with!cases!unlikely!to!succeed!

Hand>up!brief!has!resulted!in!fewer!traumas!for!the!victims!and!has!led!to!more!court!time!to!be!available!for!other! matters! –
DIRECTIONS!HEARINGS!
!

These!are!designed!to!speed!up!the!process!of!getting!an!accused!person!to!trial!and!to!reduce!the!length!of!the!trial!by! having!some!issues!resolved!before!the!trial!commences! Factors!that!may!hinder!a!timely!resolution!of!disputes!and!cause!delays!include:!

COLLECTION!OF!EVIDENCE!

Police!may!have!trouble!collecting!evidence!or!locating!witnesses!or!suspects!may!refuse!to!co>operate!with!police!

COMMITTAL!HEARINGS!

Can!add!to!the!delays!experienced!in!some!cases!

COURT!WORKLOAD!

Increase!in!the!number!of!criminal!cases!has!caused!delays.!

Magistrates!court!has!experienced!an!increase!of!13!000!cases!(2008>2009)!mainly!due!to!family!violence!cases!following! a!change!in!the!law! –
Length!of!trials!has!also!increased!

!

Time Limits of Criminal Procedure


Criminal!Procedure!Act!2009!(Vic)!sets!time!limits!for!different!stages!of!criminal!procedure!which!helps!to!ensure!a!timely!resolution!for!the! parties! –
E.g.!A!trial!must!commence!within!3!months!of!the!date!the!accused!was!committed!for!trial!

Sentence Indication



!

Process!whereby!the!judge/magistrate!reviews!the!summaries!of!a!case!after!an!indictment!has!been!filed!(but!before!the!trial!commences)! and!advising!the!accused!of!whether!they!are!likely!to!be!sentenced!to!a!term!of!imprisonment!should!they!plead!guilty!at!the!first! opportunity!
Aim!is!to!encourage!guilty!pleas!earlier!in!the!proceedings!thereby!reducing!the!time!taken!up!by!the!trial!and!freeing!up!legal!resources!for!
other!matters!

Justice Legislation Amendment (Infringement Offences) Act 2011



Provides!for!the!ongoing!use!of!infringement!notices!to!enforce!a!number!of!common!summary!offences!
Previously!trialled!in!2008!!

Offensive!behaviour!and!indecent!language!









Liquor!related!offences!

Wilful!damage!up!to!$500!

Shop!theft!of!goods!up!to!$600!
Will!reduce!the!pressure!on!court!resources!
Evaluation!of!the!trial!indicated!it!had!reduced!the!volume!of!cases!going!before!the!Magistrates!Court!
Has!freed!up!police!time!and!resources!to!deal!with!
Other!anti!social!behaviour!
Law!enforcement!activities!
Issuing!penalties!more!readily!to!offenders!

)

Civil Processes and Procedures
!

Supreme Court Pre-trial Procedures/Procedures

!





Pleadings!
Discovery!
Directions!Hearings!

Civil Remedies
!




Damages!
Injunctions!

Effectiveness of Civil Processes and Procedures

Civil!lam!aims!to!regulate!the!conduct!between!parties!and!provide!compensation!to!an!injured!party!
Civil!disputes!are!those!between!2!parties!that!occur!as!a!result!of!the!rights!of!one!party!being!infringed!by!the!other!party!
!

Infringement:
!



Trespass,!contract,!property!dispute,!defamation,!negligence,!nuisance!

Introduction









!

A!civil!claim!arises!when!the!rights!on!an!individual!have!been!infringed!
Usually!the!infringed!party!suffers!some!form!of!damage!or!injury!
A!civil!claim!arises!to!provide!a!remedy!to!a!dispute!
The!courts!aim!is!to!restore!the!injured!party!to!their!original!position!
The!court!may!make!a!variety!of!orders!to!resolve!a!civil!dispute! o E.g.!an!award!of!money!–!damages!
Initiating!court!action!will!usually!be!the!last!resort!for!most!people!
Plaintiff!must!weigh!up!the!costs!both!emotionally!and!financially!when!deciding!if!they!should!go!to!court!
Costs!involved!
o Costs!of!employing!legal!representation!may!be!higher!than!the!compensation!being!sought! o Magistrate/judge!may!decide!to!award!costs!to!the!winning/party!(discretion)! o The!costs!awarded!may!not!necessarily!cover!all!the!costs!of!legal!representation!

Commencing Legal Action


!
!

In!commencing!legal!action!the!plaintiff!is!seeking!some!form!of!restoration/compensation!from!the!defendant!
Types!of!injury!for!which!a!claim!can!be!brought!include!
o Physical!injury,!emotional,!psychological!and!financial!loss!

Pre-trial procedures in the Supreme Court


Aim!
To!make!sure!that!both!parties!are!informed!about!the!details!of!legal!action!through!the!exchange!of!documents!
To!inform!the!defendant!that!a!legal!action!is!being!taken!against!them!
To!allow!that!parties!to!decide!whether!it!is!worthwhile!pursuing!their!case!
May!result!in!an!out>of!court!settlement!
Pre!trial!Proceedings!–!if!matters!proceed!to!court,!PTPs!help!to!clarify!issues!and!allows!parties!to!prepare!their!case!and!provide!
information!to!the!court!and!helps!parties!to!reduce!costs!and!delays!at!trial!
Time!and!money!are!saved!by!having!as!much!as!possible!clarified!before!the!court!case!
PTP!require!the!parties!to!be!in!constant!contact!which!is!more!likely!to!lead!to!an!out!of!court!settlement! o o o •



Pleadings





It!involves!an!exchange!of!documents!between!the!legal!representatives!of!the!plaintiff!and!defendant!
They!set!out!the!nature!of!the!claim!made!by!the!plaintiff,!including!the!remedy!being!sought!and!the!defence!being!raised!by!the!defendant!
The!emphasis!is!on!raising!points!of!law!
Purpose:!
o To!inform!the!parties!of!the!claim!against!them!and!inform!the!court!of!a!potential!case! o Limit!the!area!of!the!dispute!by!encouraging!them!to!agree!on!as!many!points!as!possible! o Make!sure!that!both!parties!are!ready!for!trial,!and! o To!encourage!an!out!of!court!settlement!

Stages of pleading:





!


!
!

Writ! o Sets!out!the!action,!place,!mode!of!trial!(jury!or!not)!and!remedy!sought!
Statement)of)claim:!
o States!the!claim!being!made!by!the!plaintiff!and!the!damages!or!remedy!sought!
Notice)of)Appearance:!
o Replay!by!the!defence!and!gives!notice!of!their!intention!
Statement)of)Defence!
o Details!the!defendant’s!case!and!summarises!which!claims!they!admit!to!and!which!they!deny! o They!may!admit!to!the!claims!made!by!the!plaintiff!but!provide!an!explanation!for!actions!taken!
$
E.g.!being!unable!to!meet!a!contract!because!they!are!ill!
$
Can!choose!‘not!to!admit’!(say!nothing)!to!the!claim!

Means!that!you!neither!deny!or!admit!to!the!claim!

Up!to!the!plaintiff!who!has!the!burden!to!prove!the!truth!of!the!claim!
Counterclaim!
o This!means!that!the!defendant!may!bring!an!action!against!the!plaintiff!! o They!claim!that!the!plaintiff!was!either!partly!or!completely!responsible!(for!damage/injury)! o Generally!made!in!the!same!document!as!the!defence!

Discovery






!

Interrogatories)
Production)and)Discovery)of)Documents)
Purpose:) o To!encourage!an!out>of>court!settlement) o Parties!are!required!to!disclose!all!documents!and!information!relevant!to!the!case!to!each!other!so!that!they!are!fully!informed!of! the!case!against!them) o To!minimise!surprises!for!each!party!once!the!trial!starts)
Concerned!with!discovering!and!raising!questions!of!fact!in!the!dispute)
Parties!are!required!to!disclose!all!documents!and!information!relevant!to!the!case!to!each!other!so!that!they!are!fully!informed!of!the!case! against!them) Stages of Discovery



Interrogatories) o Detailed!written!questions!which!each!party!must!respond!to!(could!be!used!as!a!delay!tactic))
Discovery)and)Production)of)Documents)
o Each!party!is!required!to!supply!a!list!of!their!evidence!(affidavits)!and!must!provide!the!other!side!with!a!copy!of!anything!they! request) !

Directions Hearing





)




Purpose:)
To!reduce!the!time!take!for!the!process!before!and!during!trial!which!results!in!a!quicker,!cheaper!and!more!efficient!resolution!for!the!
parties!as!well!as!the!court!system)
Held!between!the!judge!and!the!parties!who!may!help!to!facilitate!an!out!of!court!settlement)
It!allows!the!judge!to!) o Identify!the!main!issues!in!a!case!and) o Given!directions!to!the!parties!regarding!how!their!action!should!continue)
Used!to!set!a!time!frame!for!the!future!direction!of!the!trial)
The!court!may!refer!the!matter!to!mediation!or!arbitration!with!or!without!the!consent!of!the!parties)

Pre-trial procedures
1.
2.
3.

Pleadings)–)writ,!statement!of!claim,!notice!of!appearance,!statement!of!defence,!counterclaims!=!to!encourage!out!of!court!settlements)
Discovery)–)interrogatories,!discovery!and!production!of!documents)
Directions)hearings)–)judge!is!starting!to!take!control)

)

Post-trial remedies
A!means!by!which!a!plaintiff’s!rights!are!protected/corrected!for!injury!caused!by!the!defendant!
Purpose:!to!restore!the!injured/wronged!party!(plaintiff)!to!the!original!position!they!were!in!before!the!harm!was!caused!by!the!defendant!
!

Remedies
Damages)–)Involves!an!amount!of!money!paid!by!the!defendant!to!the!plaintiff!in!settlement!of!their!claim!






They!are!not!always!able!to!return!the!injured!party!to!the!position!they!were!in!before!the!harm!occurred!
Compensation!is!NOT!a!remedy!–!it!is!a!form!of!damages!
Compensatory!damages!–!damages!that!compensate!the!plaintiff!for!injury!suffered!to!the!extent!that!money!is!able!to!do!so.!!
Types!include:!specific/special!damages/general!damages!

)
Compensatory)Damages)

Specific/special!–!identifiable!costs!which!can!be!calculated,!e.g.!medical!costs,!loss!of!wages!

General!Damages!–!not!easy!to!calculate!as!they!take!into!account!the!impact!of!the!injury!of!plaintiff’s!past,!present!and!future!life!

e.g.!pain!and!suffering,!loss!of!income,!loss!of!enjoyment!of!life!
!
Exemplary)Damages)

Sometimes!the!court!may!intend!to!make!the!defendant!an!example!to!the!rest!of!the!community)
o In!such!cases,!the!defendant!may!be!ordered!to!pay!a!large!amount!of!money,!either!to!punish!them!or!to!deter!others!from!acting! in!the!same!way) )
Nominal)Damages)

Where!only!small!amounts!of!money!are!awarded!to!the!plaintiff!as!they!are!more!concerned!with!proving!a!legal!point!than!recovering!
money!and!there!may!be!no!significant!injury)
)
Aggravated)Damages)

Additional!compensation!received!for!the!humiliation!suffered!by!the!plaintiff!due!to!the!defendant’s!offensive!or!particularly!nasty!conduct)
)
Contemptuous)Damages)

Where!the!court!awards!only!a!small!amount!of!money!to!the!plaintiff!as!recognition!that!although!they!have!a!legal!right!to!damages,!the! court!holds!them!in!contempt!for!their!actions!and!does!not!believe!they!have!a!moral!right!to!damages! !
Injunctions)–)A!court!order!that!either!requires!the!defendant!to!do!something!or!to!refrain!from!doing!something!
)
Mandatory)or)compulsive)injunction)–)An!injunction!that!orders!the!defendant!to!perform!some!action!–!such!as!fulfilling!the!terms!of!a!contract!
)
Injunctions)can)be)temporary)or)ongoing)–)A!temporary!one!is!known!as!an!interim!injunction.!These!are!issues!before!a!case!has!been!finally!decided,!
to!prevent!a!party!from!continuing!an!action!before!or!during!the!court!hearing!

Injunctions!that!have!an!ongoing!effect!are!referred!to!as!perpetual!injunctions!

!
!
!

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