4 courts and jurisdiction there are many different

Info icon This preview shows pages 6–7. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
4. Courts and Jurisdiction There are many different courts in Australia and they also deal with different subject matter (e.g. civil matters v. criminal matters; state matters v. federal matters etc). Many of you will have covered this material in 1012CCJ Police Courts and Criminal Law in first semester. Key points to note here are that the legal system in Australia reflects our federal nature – this means that there are federal courts and state courts. This becomes clearer as we examine the Constitution in week 5 and federalism in week 6. There is also a court hierarchy that is very important to the operation of precedent. A higher court will bind a lower court within the same jurisdiction . For example, a decision made in the Queensland Court of Appeal will be binding on the Queensland Supreme Court, District Court and Magistrates Court (but won’t bind a Victorian court). It is important that you have a clear understanding of court hierarchy. The term ‘jurisdiction’ is a very important one to understand. The Oxford Australian Law Dictionary (2010) defines jurisdiction as “(1) The scope and reach of a body’s power and authority, particularly a court’s power and authority to hear and determine a justiciable matter. (2) The territory over which a sovereign state, court, tribunal or other body exercises such power.” Within this course, we will often talk about jurisdiction in terms of the power of the federal v. State government. This power is set out in the Constitution, which we will discuss at length in week 5. International law is also an important component of Australia’s legal and political systems. Australia is a signatory to many international treaties which 6
Image of page 6

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
demonstrates an intention to abide by the terms of those treaties, but the terms of the treaties only become part of our legal obligations if they are enacted into domestic law. This makes the area of international law quite complex (and beyond the scope of this course), but it is important to note the political dimensions of international law. Our compliance or non-compliance with international obligations has enormous political significance, even if there are perhaps few legal consequences to non-compliance. Terms to note: Court hierarchy and precedent Federal and State Courts International law and obligations Jurisdiction Activity: Follow the links in the Resources Folder to explore Federal Courts in Australia, and courts in Queensland. Make sure you understand the jurisdiction of each court and the way that they interact with each other. Why do we have a federal police service as well as State police services? What does this indicate about jurisdiction? Look at the Human Rights Treaties link in the Resources folder. Can you think of an example of a human rights issue currently being debated in Australia? 7
Image of page 7
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern