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Rebecca Wyant
According to the Pocket Oxford Dictionary (Turner 1984), law is the:

- rule established among a community and enjoining or prohibiting certain action (and) the system made up of these rules, its controlling power, the order produced by it, its administration, . . . the courts administering it . . .

Historical Context of Australian Law

•Significance of 1788 European settlement in Aust

•Nature of English legal system then

•Supremacy of legislation by parliament

–NB parl franchise limited until 1867 (men) and 1921(women)

•Judge made and interpreted law influential

•Equity a separate system to correct defects

Evolution of Australian legal system

•Clash of perceptions

•English written & formal legal system

•Settled habits-individual property rights

•Indigenous people-nomadic, group oriented, oral culture& evolved custom based legal system

•Perceived as terra nullius with dispossessionary consequences.

Achievement of independent legal system

•Statute not adopted in Aust until 1942

•Retrospective to 3 Sept 1939

•State's formal subservience to UK unchanged

–Appeals from state Supreme courts to HC &or Privy Council

•Coordinated acts requesting and adopting request of cutting all final constitutional links

•Australia Acts in effect 3 May 1986 5 pm GMT

Mabo v Queensland (No 2) (1991) 175 CLR 1

•The unfinished business in evolution of Aust legal system

•Rejected terra nullius

•Used relevant colonial precedents

•Endorsed acquired-not diffused sovereignty

–Ie sovereignty acquiredextinguished by laws & acts

–Left a basis for native title where continuing connection with land could be established

System of the government:

Federal Government

State Government

(Local Government)

3 Arms of the Government:

Legislative Arm: Consists of the parliament and its members. It is the body responsible for making the law

Executive Arm: Puts into affect the laws made by the legislative arm. Despite this, however, the executive is also one of the main bodies granted the power to pass delegated legislation.

Judicial Arm: The judiciary is responsible for the enforcement of the law made y the other two arms. Judiciary meaning courts.

Sources of Law:

Common Law and the courts

Although the primary responsibility of the courts was to...

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