When having a look at the legal system in the land down under, there are various things to consider and be aware of. Everything from legal concepts to the systems of governance in the country itself, the general legislative process, the main sources of law, both civil and criminal litigation, reporting restrictions, burdens of proof penalties, evidentiary requirements and last but not least, the many different roles that range from the judge to the council. These all form a crucial part of that which is the legal system.
The Australian Constitution Plays a Vital Role in the Legal System
Although Australia has a formal written constitution which is referred to as the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900, it is also known as the ‘Commonwealth Constitution’ and sometimes, the ‘Australian Constitution’.
It contains many different sources of legislation, but one of its main sources includes section 9 of the ‘Australian Constitution’. It is considered to be a federal constitution, as well as a supreme law and general framework for the government. This constitution also acts as a solid platform for agreement between the country’s different states and territories. These include New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Southern Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and surrounding territories.
According to section 107 of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900, the states all have the right to maintain their own state constitutions which are referred to the use of the state’s name of which they apply to. Victoria’s state, for instance, would be referred to as the “Victorian Constitution” and not necessarily the country as a whole.
Constitutional Sources Impacting Australian Law
The Statute of Westminster 1931
This act was created as an Act of the UK’s Parliament which allowed Australia to repeal to the legislate extra-territorially from the UK legislation. This act allowed Australia to make laws of their own and eliminated the power of the UK over Australian law. Although this qualified Australia to be independent of the UK, there was no legislation which granted official legal recognition of the country’s independence. The UK was thus prohibited from making laws for Australia unless they had consent to do so.
The Australian Act 1986
This Act was known from being a statute between both Australia and the UK but was also the reason why these two powerful countries broke ties with one another.
General Constitutional Features – A System of Governance
The constitution provides a system of government that which has a responsibility to both the people and the representatives of the people. This is delegated through the institution of Commonwealth Parliament.
The constitution includes the head of state which is the Queen. Her powers are exercised by a Governor-General who serves as the Queen’s representative in the Commonwealth Parliament. His/ Her position involves the summoning, as well as dissolving of Parliament and providing approval to all legislation.
The structure of the constitution of Australia consists of three parts which are the Queen, the House of Representatives and the Senate.
This structure forms an integral part of the legislative governance of Australia.