Discovering Democracy Units
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Law

At a glance

Focus question 1: Why do we need laws?

Content
Activities
(Assessment tasks are in bold italics.)

Preparation
  • Law making
  • Group analysis of hypothetical situations requiring laws
 
  • Sources of law and their development
  • Narrative sequencing
  • Comparison of ancient law codes
  • Construction of list of basic laws
  • Research task: reflecting from the present to past influences on the sources of law
  • Download and duplicate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Selected Sources
  • Ensure newspapers are available

Teaching and learning activities

Focus question 2: What are the sources of Australian law?

Content
Activities
(Assessment tasks are in bold italics.)

Preparation
  • Common law
  • Incident analysis, investigating the idea of precedent
 
  • Statute law
  • Case analysis, illustrating the relationship between statute and common law
 
  • Aboriginal customary law
  • Case analysis, relevant to the application of customary law
 

Teaching and learning activities

Focus question 3: How do we make laws today?

Content
Activities
(Assessment tasks are in bold italics.)

Preparation
  • Introduction of relevant terms
  • The law-making process
  • Role-play of the law-making process
  • Research into the development of contemporary laws
  • Arrange for the use of relevant activities from the Stories of Democracy and Parliament at Work CD ROMs
  • Ensure newspapers are available
  • Have The Commonwealth Government poster available

Teaching and learning activities

Focus question 4: Who has the final say about laws in Australia?

Content
Activities
(Assessment tasks are in bold italics.)

Preparation
  • Introduction of constitutional rule-making powers
  • Development and testing of a sports club constitution
 
  • Our Constitution
  • Analysis of allocation of powers in the Australian Constitution
  • Download and duplicate Section 51 of the Australian Constitution in Selected Sources
  • Have The Levels of Government poster available
  • Analysis of a specific issue, defence
  • Comprehension related to the Mabo decision
  • Arrange for the use of the Stories of Democracy CD ROM

Teaching and learning activities

Focus question 5: How does Australia's legal system attempt to ensure fairness and to protect people?

Content
Activities
(Assessment tasks are in bold italics.)

Preparation
  • Differences between civil and criminal law
  • Allocation of cases
 
  • The evolution of principles of legal fairness (Saxon and current procedures)
  • Comparison of Saxon and current principles
  • Narrative sequencing
  • Analysis for comprehension
  • Definition matching exercise
  • Labelling task (courtroom sketch)
  • Case study to investigate ideas of fairness
  • Chart summary of the ways in which Australian courts attempt to ensure fair trials
  • Have the 'answer' for the case study from the teacher notes available

Teaching and learning activities

AcknowledgementsLegal Information