Strenghts And Weaknesses Of Parliament As A Law Maker Flashcards Preview

Legal Studies Units 3 & 4 > Strenghts And Weaknesses Of Parliament As A Law Maker > Flashcards

Flashcards in Strenghts And Weaknesses Of Parliament As A Law Maker Deck (16):
1

5 strengths of Parliament As a law maker

Abundance of resources
Democratically elected
Comprehensive law reform
Provides for debate
Delegation of power

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Supreme law making body Strength

The state and Commonwealth parliaments are elected supreme law-making bodies within their own jurisdictions. This means that they have overriding authority when exercising the law-making powers given to them. Parliaments are not bound by previous Acts of parliament and can change the law when the need arises. Parliaments can abrogate (cancel) a law made by courts.

3

Democratically elected Strength

As Parliament is elected by the people they are representative of the will of the majority. Therefore they have public confidence that they will be able to carry out their role as law-makers and therefore be in the best position to act in accordance with the views and values of the majority.

LINKS WITH CONFLICTING VIEWS

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Comprehensive law reform Strength

Due to the scope of resources and expertise Parliament is able to conduct large scale law-reform. This can be as large as suggesting a change to our Constitution. Law can subsequently cover the majority of possible future occurrences as a result of their ability to address an entire area of law.

5

Provides for debate Strength

There are several stages in the legislative process that allow for debate on both the bill as whole as well as consideration of the proposal clause-by-clause. Parliament provides an arena for debate, which can lessen the chance of unjust laws being passed and allows different views to be heard.

LINKS WITH TIME CONSUMING

6

Delegation of power Strength

In delegating law-making power Parliament is able to cater to specialization and expertise in specific areas of law. There are various subordinate authorities and government bodies that ensure that specific legal matters are dealt with by professionals. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an example of a body exercising delegated law-making powers.

LINKS WITH DELEGATION OF POWER

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Conflicting views Weakness

Parliament may be restricted in its law-making by the fact that there are strong conflicting views in the community regarding a particular issue, such as same-sex marriage. If both sides of the discussion have strong support, it is likely that the law will not be changed. For example, there are strong and conflicting views about legalising voluntary euthanasia, and as a result the law remains unchanged.

8

Impact Of party politics Weakness

Party politics or ‘voting on party lines’ refers to political decisions being made to align with the agenda of a particular political party as opposed to in the interests of the public. This can jeopardize their ability to effectively provide for representative government. Party politics is a structural weakness of Parliament as it is almost impossible to remove bias entirely

9

Time consuming Weakness

Parliament may not be able to respond quickly to a need for a change in the law, either because it is not sitting at the time, or it is not possible to gain the support needed to pass the Bill through the parliament (if there is a hung parliament or a hostile upper house). Also, the process of law- making through parliament is very time-consuming because it has to pass through three readings and debates in both houses.

10

Delegation Weakness

Parliament has the power to delegate law-making power to subordinate authorities. In doing so Parliament cannot exercise sufficient control over the activities of these bodies. These bodies are also not democratically elected and therefore are under no obligation to represent the people. This can often result in the passing of conflicting legislation which may result in the public being confused and as a result lose faith in Parliament’s ability to operate effectively.

11

Jurisdiction Weakness

Parliaments are also restricted to making laws only within their own jurisdiction. For example, the Victorian Parliament is not able to make laws with respect to customs and excise, even if they saw a need for a change in the law in this respect.

12

Hannah thinks that Parliament has serious shortcomings in their role as a law- maker’. You don’t like Hannah and want to disagree with her just because. Provide 2 reasons why you might disagree with Hannah.

Despite the limitations of Parliament as a law-maker they are effective in their role as the supreme law-making body.

One strength of parliament is that they are democratically elected and as such are representative of the interests of their constituents. This allows parliament to legislate in accordance with representative government which prescribes that parliament should act in accordance with the will of the people.

Similarly parliament is effective in their role as a law-maker because the legislative process provides for debate. In allowing all members from all different political parties to debate parliament is able to provide for responsible government as it is more likely that government ministers will be held accountable for their actions.

13

Mary believes that the strengths of Parliament far outweigh its weaknesses as a law-maker’. You also don’t like Mary and want to disagree with her. Provide 2 reasons why you might disagree with Mary.

Despite the advantages of Parliament as a law-maker, it also has some significant weaknesses

14

Two strengths of Parliament As a law maker are that it makes Laws which reflect the views of the community and can make Laws whenever the need arises. Critically examine these two strengths.

As Parliament is elected by the people they are representative of the will of the majority. Therefore they have public confidence that they will be able to carry out their role as law-makers and therefore be in the best position to act in accordance with the views and values of the majority.

However Parliament may be restricted in its law-making by the fact that there are strong conflicting views in the community regarding a particular issue, such as same-sex marriage. If both sides of the discussion have strong support, it is likely that the law will not be changed. While parliament may be restricted by conflicting views, if the majority of people believe that a change is necessary, parliament should be able to implement these changes.

Parliament can change the law as the need arises, although this can be a slow process as any law made by parliament has to be passed by both houses of parliament. However, when a Bill receives the support of parliament, it is able to be passed quickly if needed.

For example, the Crimes Amendment (Integrity in Sports) Act 2013 was quickly passed through the Victorian Parliament in response to growing concerns about the number of incidents of match fixing in recent times, both in Australia and overseas. This bill was passed in 3 days because it had the full support of Parliament. While introducing bills can be a slow and time confusing process, if all of Parliament have support of the bill it can passed in as quickly as just a few days.

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Critically evaluate Parliament As a law maker

4 strengths and 4 weaknesses

In summary even though INSERT STRONGEST WEAKNESS, Parliament is still an effective law maker as INSERT STRONGEST STRENGTH

16

Evaluate two weaknesses of Parliament As a law maker

One weakness of parliament as a law-maker is that the process of debate and the passage of a bill through parliament is a lengthy process. This means that instant changes or developments to legislation do not occur, and causes delays to legislation that is often needed in society.

However, this ensures that the legislation is thorough, effective and the views and perspectives of parliament are provided so that any necessary amendments can be made to the bill. Therefore, whilst the process is long, it ensures that statutes aren’t hastily made and are considered thoughtfully and by all members of parliament.

Another weakness of parliament is that it is able to delegate much of its law-making powers to bodies that are not elected by members of the community. These bodies, such as local councils and statutory authorities, are not responsible and not necessarily accountable to the community given they are not elected.

However, many of these bodies are experts in their area and therefore are more likely to make laws that are relevant and necessary for the community as opposed to parliament, which may not necessarily have expertise in a particular area (such as local traffic) to create the required laws. Also, given parliament has limited time already to make laws, it ensures that those bodies can make laws quickly without the need to go through the abovementioned passage of a bill.

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