Year 10 Half Yearly Exams – Commerce Notes
Unit One: Law and Society
Reasons for laws
* Laws protect the rights of all people and ensure there is harmony amongst all.
* Without law, there would be anarchy.
* Laws ensure there are social cohesion, justice and peace.
* Three main roles; protection, freedom, resolving disputes.
The legal system
* It consists of a number of institutions such as parliaments, courts and prisons. It includes those who work for it such as judges, lawyers, police, prison officers and politicians.
* Politicians – work in Parliament and they can legislate laws. They can change existing laws and make new ones. Law binding on all courts and judges.
Legal Advisers – specialise in the legal system. Lawyers (Solicitors and Barristers) provide advice and assistance. Represent clients and conduct cases in a court hearing.
Courts – Interpret the law. Courts settle disputes according to strict rules of evidence. Court officials are responsible for the efficient running of a case.
Police – Enforce the law. They prevent and detect crime, protect life and property and maintain peace and order.
* The court system operates under a hierarchy, consisting of the Local Court, District Court, Supreme Court and High Court. The number of cases heard in each are less as you go up the chain, until the High Court. The higher up the hierarchy the more expensive.
* Local Court – There is no jury. The Local court deals with minor civil disputes, such as when people sue others for money up to $60 000, and also hears minor criminal matters such as stealing and indecent language. It is headed by a magistrate and has no judge. It also holds committal hearings for major criminal cases, and hears bail applications. It hears about 80% of all cases, and therefore there are a lot of local courts around NSW. The Local Court also has divisions according to what character each case has, such as the Children’s Court and...