Common Law Essay

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Homework Essay Veronica Lee Compare common law and statute law, assessing the effectiveness of each type of law-making process. Laws are a set of rules that are officially recognised, can be enforced and are seen as binding on the community as a whole. These laws are necessary in society to ensure that the protection of the innocent, the rights and the responsibilities are upheld within the community. Without law and order society would be in a state of anarchy, which would consequently jeopardise the safety of the community. The basis of the Australian legal system and its laws are inherited from English law. As a result, Australia has two types of law, common and statute law, that are defined by the process in which law is made. Common law is law made by judges in court decisions. This relies on a court heirachy, which displays the ranking of authority and differing jurisdiction of each court. (see fig.1) Figure 1 – The Court System The Local, Coroner’s , Children’s and Land and Environment Court are classified as Inferior courts, that is that they are of the lowest authority in the court hierarchy. The Local Court deals with summary matters such as shoplifting or civil claims of between $3000 and $40,000. The Coroner’s Court deals with unexplained deaths and fires. The Children’s Court deals with cases involving persons under 18 years of age (a minor) at the time of the offence or under 21 when charged with a crime committed when a minor. The Land and Environment Court deals with cases involving environmental offences. With the exception of the Land and Environment court, these courts appeal to the District Court, classified as an Intermediate court. The District court also deals with more severe cases such as armed robbery or civil claims of between $40,000 and $750,000. Above this are the Superior courts, that is the Supreme Court, which hears
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