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Australia's Legal System

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by

Mikaela Macfarlane

on 21 March 2015

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Transcript of Australia's Legal System

Australia's Legal System
Operation of the legal system
The legal system is based on a set of core principles that must be followed. These principles are:
- Fairness
- Equality before the law
- Freedom before bias
- The right to be heard
- Transparency {1}
Court Hierarchy
References
{1} http://www.legalanswers.sl.nsw.gov.au/guides/hot_topics/australian_legal_system/other_influences.html

{2} http://dynamo.dictionary.com/260041/basic-court-personnel
Court Personell
Judge / Magistrate
A judge is a civil officer in charge of judging the case

A magistrate is a civil officer in charge of conducting the law {2}
Witness / Victim
A person who was present at the scene of the crime and may have knowledge of the situation {3}
References
{3} http://www.opp.vic.gov.au/Witnesses-and-Victims

{4} http://www.collaw.edu.au/insights/top-10-influential-court-cases-last-40-years/
Judges associate / court clerk
Judges associate sits in front just below the judge and assists the judge in reserach etc.

The court clerk assists the magistrate and makes sure the court runs smoothly {2}
Jury
A group selected by law who must determine the facts and develop a verdict to the court {2}
Crown prosecutor
Works for the director of public prosecutors who are highly trained barristers in district and supreme courts. {2}
Mabo vs Queensland no. 2 (1992)
This was about the Meriam people's campaign to allow them legal owner ship over their land on the Torres Straight island Mer. The Queensland government opposed the cause, however the Meriam people won with the High courts ruling of 6:1. This case was important as it brought forth the Native Title Act in 1993, allowing Indigenous people to claim right over unalienated land. {4}
How laws empower society
The laws that are set are balanced so that people have freedom to do many things but there are still enough boundries to protect them. Rules like the right to be heard/have an opinion,
or run a business give people enough freedom to feel comfortable. Other rules like not being allowed to injure/abuse another person or steal make people feel secure and protected.
How the law hasn't empowered people
In the case of William David Bugmy, he was sentenced 7 and a half years imprisonment for throwing pool balls in a prison officers eye and blinding him. This case did not end in his favour and shows that the law cannot always give you power. {5}
References
{5} http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/08/06/case-could-rock-aboriginal-sentencing
By Mikaela Macfarlane
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