Legal Studies WedQuest assessment task
Conditions that give rise to law reform
Changing Social Values
* Standards that guide people in their thinking about aspects of society and what’s right and wrong. * Must reflect social values of the community for it to stay relevant and have people abide by it. * Shaped by religion and other cultural factors.
* Not the same as individual values although they both influence and are influenced by peoples judgment. * Example: the change in Australia’s social values regarding traditional, same sex and de facto relationships when the de facto relationship act was passed.
New Concepts of Justice
* If a law is not delivering just outcomes to the community or an individual or the government decides to adopt a new policy or approach, law reform may be needed. * If a person committed a heinous crime such as murder, capital punishment was seen as the best way to deal with it. “Life for a life.” * It was seen as a way to stop people from committing such crimes as murder, but when it was stopped, the murder rate remained moderately the same. * Example: new concepts of justice to combat domestic violence. Apprehended Domestic Violence Order.
* Changes in technology make it hard for laws to remain up-to-date. * Laws must change in order to keep up with technology.
* Example: The legal definition of death had to be changed when the development of life support devices allowed a persons heart and lungs to function for a period of time with no brain activity.
Agencies of reform
The role of courts and parliaments in law reform is to change laws that have dated since when the law first came in and to “modernize” the law. An example of this is capital punishment. Courts usually change law or modify laws that get brought up by court cases. But the parliament had to produce a bill, which it goes through the house of reps and the senate to become a new law.
The role of the NSW law reform commission is required to consider the laws of NSW with a view to - Repeal obsolete or unnecessary enactments
- Consolidate, codify or revise the law
- Simplify or modernize the law
- Adopt new or more effective methods for the administration of law - Systematically develop and reform the law
Four projects that the NSW law reform commission is working on are cheating at gambli...