PLEWA joint panel presentation [MS PowerPoint Document, 132.7 KB]

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PLEWA Joint Panel Presentation
Contemporary Constitutional Law Cases
What the Syllabus Says we must teach
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2A
types of laws made by parliaments, courts and subordinate
authorities
the court hierarchy, rules of statutory interpretation and the
doctrine of precedent
key processes of civil and criminal trials in Western Australia
at least one contemporary issue involving the judicial process*.
2B
Ways individuals and political parties and pressure groups can
participate in Australia’s electoral processes
at least one contemporary issue centering on representation*
Harriton V Stephens (2006)
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Wrongful Life Case
How can we use it in P&L?
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Look at the old ‘Law and Society’
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values that underpin our laws
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Functions of law
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Major Social Values – Right for Life
Protection of the Weak
To promote and represent the values and aspirations of a community
Characteristics of effective laws
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Respected and acknowledged by the community
Applies universally without arbitrary discrimination against or in favour of
a particular social groups or individuals
It has a degree of flexibility in its application to cover various situations.
Harriton V Stephens (2006)
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Judges Precedent and Common Law
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Look at how Judges make law
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Evolution of the tort of negligence
See handout
Emphasis on how courts interpret past decisions
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‘Duty of care and the neighbour principle’
Look at two judgements Crennan and Kirby (dissenting) small discussion
on activism and legalism in judicial interpretation.
Harriton V Stephens (2006)
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Adversarial
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Court hirerachy
Appeals
Legal Process
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Civil
Damages
Elections and representation
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Roach and Rowe
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Principles of fair elections
Achievement of electoral rights
How individuals and Pressure groups can participate in
Australia's electoral process.
What the Syllabus Says we must teach
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3A
lawmaking process in parliament and the courts
with reference to the influence of:
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individuals
pressure groups
role and powers of the High Court of Australia
including Sections 71, 73, 74, 75, 76
methods of judicial interpretation:
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legalism and activism with reference to at least one common
law decision and one constitutional decision.
What the Syllabus Says we must teach
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3B
the accountability of parliament
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types of rights:
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through elections to the House of Representatives and the Senate
civil
political
economic
social
cultural
the ways of protecting rights in Australia including
constitutional, common law and statutory rights and in one
other country
the status of international covenants, protocols and treaties in
protecting human rights in Australia
lawmaking process
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With respect to:
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Individuals – Roach
Pressure Groups – Rowe
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Role of High Court:
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Get up as the leader in this action against the government
In relation to electoral rights
Application and interpretation of the Constitution
Significance of the judgements :
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Activist v Legalist
Constitutional – Rowe
Landmark?
Elections
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Electoral Rights and freedoms
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Roach
Voting in elections for the Parliament lies at the very heart of
the system of government for which the Constitution provides.
This central concept is reflected in the detailed provisions for
the election of the Parliament of the Commonwealth in what is
otherwise a comparatively brief constitutional text …McGinty
does not deny the existence of a constitutional bedrock when
what is at stake is legislative disqualification of some citizens
from exercise of the franchise.
Rowe
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Constitutional law decision – impact on electoral process
How High Court ruling allowed people to register to
vote after the issue of write. Ruled changes to Electoral
Act unconstitutional
Impact of Rowe on the 2010 election
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2010 federal election differed in some respects from
recent previous federal elections.
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Interesting point for dinner party conversation - a federal
election had not been held in winter since 1987.
The decision in Rowe v Electoral Commission effectively
restored the close of rolls period to seven days following the
issue of writs which resulted in an unanticipated additional
workload for the Australian Electoral Commission in
processing of almost 100 000 enrolment transactions.
Impact of Rowe on the 2010 election
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AEC were required to process enrolment applications received
after the two original enrolment cut off dates but which were
received on or before 8pm Monday July 26 2010.
This processing added 57 732 new electors to the electoral
roll and 40 408 changes to enrolment details.
Look at the Stats for distribution few marginal seats had got
additional electors which would benefit one party in that area.
Impact of Rowe on the 2010 election
Added point of interest on 13 August (which was a Friday)
The federal Court upheld the use of a digital signature in
completing a claim for enrolment.
Getup Ltd v Electoral Commissioner (2010) FCA869 The federal court
held that a claim for enrolment completed on Getup’s ‘ozenrol’
website and signed digitally by Ms Sophie Trevitt using a digital pen
on a track-pad and witnessed using the same technology met the
requirements of the Commonwealth Electoral Act. Ms Trevitt was
subsequently added to the electoral roll and was able to vote in the
2010 election.
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Rights
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Roach
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The case was launched by an individual,Vicki Lee Roach, in
order to protect the violation of her rights. The right in
question was the right to vote, which Ms Roach believed was
infringed by amendments to the Electoral Act.

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