Flashcards in SAC 1B (Law-Making Through Parliament) Deck (81)
List the reasons why laws may need to change.
- Changing values and attitudes.
- Changes in society.
- Protection of the community.
- Protection of rights.
- Advances in technology.
- Greater demand for access to the law.
- Generating changing values in society.
Explain 'changing values and attitudes'.
In order for the law to be acceptable it must change to keep up with society's changing values - if a law is not accepted, more and more people could disobey the law.
Give an example of 'changing values and attitudes'.
'Crimes Amendment (Bullying) Act 2011 (Vic)' - Brodie's Law.
Explain 'changes in society'.
Due to our society constantly changing, the law must change to compensate for these changes.
Give an example of 'changes in society'.
Explain 'protection of the community'.
Laws are required to make actions which could harm the community or individuals unlawful.
> Allows the community to continue to operate in a harmonious way.
Give two examples of 'protection of the community'.
'Crimes Amendment (Gross Violence Offences) Act 2013 (Vic)'.
What did the 'Crimes Amendment (Gross Violence Offences) Act 2013 (Vic)' do? - Refer to sections.
- Sections 15A 'Crimes Act' - Causing serious injury intentionally in circumstances of gross violence is now an offence.
- Section 15B 'Crimes Act' - Causing serious injury recklessly in circumstances of gross violence is now an offence.
What can be classified as 'gross violence'?
- Planning to cause harm.
- Being in company with two or more persons at the time of gross violence.
- Causing the injury pursuant to a joint criminal enterprise with two or more persons.
- Planning to use a weapon for harm.
- Using a weapon to harm, or continue to harm, a victim after they were incapacitated.
What is the maximum penalty for gross violence?
15A - 20years.
15B - 15years.
What is the minimum penalty for gross violence?
4 years (both sections).
How does gross violence apply to minors?
- It does not apply to minors.
- However, it applies to young offenders (18-20 years) unless they show that they had a:
> "Particular psychosocial immaturity that had resulted in a substantially diminished ability to regulate his/her behaviour".
Explain 'protection of rights'.
When a person's rights are infringed, and injustices are unable to be resolved through the law, the law needs to deal with these injustices.
Give an example of 'protection of rights'.
'Equal Opportunnity Act 2010 (Vic)'.
- Accomodates changes in values relating to discrimination, also defines what is regarded as unacceptable discrimination.
Explain 'advances in technology'.
As technology improves, new situations need to be covered by the law to reduce the opportunity for individuals and groups being exploited.
Give an example of 'advances in technology'.
'Crimes Amendment (Identity Crime) Act 2009 (Vic)'.
Explain 'greater demand for access to the law'.
As people become more educated on the law and their rights, they must be given access to avenues which allow them to seek justice if their rights have been infringed; or even be given leeway if they have a mental health problem.
Give an example of 'greater demand for access to the law'.
'Magistrates' Court Amendment (Assessment and Referral Court List) Act 2010 (Vic)'.
- Assists people with 'MHP' and have been accused of a crime.
Explain 'generating changing values in society'.
Law-makers are able to change the law in order to encourage a change in society's values.
Give an example of 'generating changing values in society'.
'Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic)'.
What is a formal law reform body?
Organisations that are employed by the state and Commonwealth governments to inform them of changes in society that may require a change in the law.
What is the VLRC?
It is an independent, government-funded organisation.
Was established to investigate areas of the law in which the government feels there is a need for reform and to monitor and coordinate law reform activity in Victoria.
What are the main roles of the VLRC?
- To undertake research and make recommendations for changes in the law on issues that are referred to the VLRC by the attorney-general.
> Can recommend minor changes to the law without a reference.
- To engage in community-wide consultation and debate, and advises the attorney-general on ways to improve and update Victorian law.
What is the main aim of the VLRC?
To ensure that the legal system meets the needs and aspirations of the Victorian community.
What are the 5 things the VLRC can actually do?
1. Can make recommendations for aw reform on matters refers to it by the AG.
2. Can make recommendations on minor legal issues of general community concern (does not require a reference from AG - just members of the public who bring it to their attention).
3. Can suggest to AG that he or she refer a law in need of investigation to the VLRC.
4. Can educate the community on areas of the law relevant to the VLRC's work.
> VLRC works with groups in the community to ensure that changes in the law are effective.
5. Can monitor and coordinate law reform activity in Victoria.
> Work with either law reform bodies in Victoria to ensure effective law reform.
After the VLRC receives a reference, what are the 7 steps which occur?
1. Undertake initial research and consultation with experts in the area under review.
2. Publish an issues or discussion paper.
> Explains key issues and asks community questions.
3. Invite and consider written submissions from the public, organisations, legal bodies etc.
4. Undertake consultation with interested and relevant individuals or groups (Eg. Public forum).
5. Ask experts to research areas requiring further information.
> This is sometimes published as an occasional paper.
6. Publish a report with recommendations for changes in the law,
> Can be a final report, or:
-> An interim report if further comment from the community is desired.
7. Table the final report in Parliament.
What are the strengths of the VLRC?
- Government asks the VLRC to investigate an area = more likely to act on recommendations.
- Can gauge public opinion on the matter through submissions and consultations.
- Can investigate an area of the law comprehensively so the government can pass new laws that cover a whole issue.
What are the weaknesses of the VLRC?
- Can only investigate with a reference, or only minor issues without a reference (RESTRICTED).
- The government is not obliged to follow recommendations.
- Investigations can be time-consuming and costly.
Identify each stage in the progress of a bill.
2. First reading
3. Second reading
4. Committee stage (Consideration in detail)
5. Third reading
6. Moves to second house
8. Royal assent