Assignment question Essay Example

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AUSTRALIAN LAW 14

Australian Law

Australian Law

Chapter 1

Review questions:

If you have asked to provide a definition of a “law”, how would you define it?

Law refers to the system of rules that guides the actions and behaviours of people in a country, a violation of which can result in penalty.

In What ways does the law impact upon a person’s personal life?

The law affects the personal life of an individual in many ways. Firstly, the law affects the personal life of an individual’s by providing the rules of conduct that protects the rights of everyone in the society. For instance, the law ensures that an individual’s right to life, freedom and association is protected. Secondly, the law affects the personal life of an individual by governing the daily activities that an individual engages in, such as driving, getting married or getting employment among others. The law also ensures that people are secured in any place they are in all the time (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

In What ways does the law impact upon business? Do you think that the law is sufficiently certain for business purposes?

Every business, small or large is affected by the law in many ways. Firstly, the law impacts businesses by defining the kind of business activities that a company can engage in while prohibiting others. For instance, the law bars any business from trading in illegal drugs, such as cocaine. Secondly, the tax laws affect businesses in terms of cost. For instance, an increase in corporate tax means high cost of doing business. The same applies to an increase in interest rates, which impact businesses by raising the cost of borrowing and profits. Employment laws also affects businesses by forcing businesses to comply with minimum wage rates and embrace diversity by prohibiting discrimination on employment. Additionally, the law affects businesses by defining what constitute fair completion among businesses, as well as barring businesses from engaging in unscrupulous business practices (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Personally, I believe that the law is sufficiently certain for businesses purposes because there is a law that regulates all industries.

Is the decision of a national sporting organisation such as the National Rugby League or the Australian football league to suspend a player for an offence under the laws of the game a rule or a law? Discuss.

Suspending a player for committing an offense falls under the laws of the game and does not amount to breaking the law. The law is a system of rules that governs the conduct of people in the society, the violation of which is punishable by courts. This implies that, when a player violates the sporting rules, this does not constitute breaking the law, rather breaking the sporting rules that are created to govern the sporting activity, but not the behaviours of people in the entire society (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Explain the main differences, if any, between a common law system and civil law system?

Common law and civil law systems have certain differences. The main difference between the two is that, whereas common law system in based mainly on judicial opinions or case laws, civil law system is based on codified statutes (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Indicate which of the following fall under the head of “Public law” and which fall under the head of “Private law”: Industrial law, contract law, tort law, constitutional law, taxation, the law of trusts?

Public laws-Taxation law, constitutional law, industrial law

Private laws-Contract Law, tort law, the law of trust.

In what ways does equity law differ from common law?

Equity law and common law differ in a variety of ways. Firstly, whereas equity laws pertain to judgments/decisions that are concerned with fairness of justice that results from natural law, common law are judgements that are based on precedence. Secondly, whereas common law originated from the legal courts, equity law originated from the Chancery Courts. Lastly, whereas common law cases are presided over by a jury that act as arbiter with the decision resulting in punishment or financial restitution, equity cases are presided over by a judge who delivers judgement on the case and can take the form of cessation of action, or action by one of the parties.

Additionally, whereas common law system is comprehensive, equity law is not comprehensive. Moreover, whereas common law provides discretionary remedy, equity law does not (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

What is the main remedy in a common law action?

Under the common law system, there are three main remedies available to the injured party. The first is damages. Damages are the monetary compensation awarded to the injured party. The damages can take the form of compensatory or punitive damages. The second remedy is injunction. An injunction is a court order forcing one of the parties to perform the promise. An injunction can also be issued to restrain a party from interring. The third common remedy available in common law is the declaratory remedies (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Discuss the following statement “Common law cases to be a common law when it becomes codified.”

Common law is a law based on case laws or precedence laws. Codified laws, on the other hand, are laws are those derived under statutes, such as legislations. Therefore, the above statement implies that common law and codified laws complement each other. In this respect, the statement implies that a common law helps in keeping codified laws up to date and helps in creating precedence where there is no statutory codification (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Discuss the following statement “Common law can exist without equity, but equity cannot exist without common law?

The statement means that common law can operate independently without necessarily having to be equitable while equity cannot operate in isolation as equity requires common law. In other words, at every point of equity, there must be common law. In trust cases, for example, it is irrelevant for equity to allege that X is a trustee of Car for Y, unless there is a court to prove the car is indeed belongs to X (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Tutorial Questions:

Why did common law become so rigid and inflexible?

Common law was quite flexible during the reign of Henry II as there many a number of writs that were issued by the kings to cover the wrongs. The passage of the writs made it easy for the common law to adapt to the changing conditions. Nonetheless, the common law became rigid and inflexible mainly because of the passage of the Oxford provisions in 1258. The passage of the provisions meant that, in case facts in issue failed to fit the standard form of wit, then the actions would fail (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

What are the differences between common law and statute law?

Common law and statute law differs in the sense that, whereas common law is based on the doctrine of precedence, statute laws are those developed through legislation or acts of parliament. Precedence doctrine applied under common law means that current decisions are made by referring to past decisions of a similar nature, otherwise called case laws. However, in statute law, the laws are made by legislators or by government agencies in the form of delegated legislation, such as the by-laws. It is critical, however, to note that, in the event of a conflict between common law and statute law, statute law will prevail (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

In the 21st century, what problems does business face under a federation model such as exists in Australia?

The question is dealing with how power is distributed between the federal parliament and the states in Australia. Australian Constitution is clear on the separation of powers between the federal parliament and the states as it provides the rules on how the federation is to operate, as well as giving the federal parliament the powers to make laws. However, the constitution limits the powers of parliament to govern how the conduct of businesses and their relationships in the country. Like federal parliament, Chapter 5 of the Australian Constitution gives states with powers to make laws (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

However, with the exception of customs, defence and excise powers, Australian Constitution does not limit the state powers to make laws. This, therefore, means that state parliaments can at any time without restrictions make laws on diverse areas, such as education, industrial law, health and transport among others. In fact, business has been the principal domain of states as can be seen with legislations, such as fair trading, contract laws and consumer credits that have been made by state parliaments (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Why should an act of parliament override the common law in the event of a conflict between the two? Discuss.

Acts of parliament, otherwise called statute laws usually prevail over common law in the event of a conflict between the two. This is necessitated by a variety of reasons. First, it is important to recognize that whereas statute laws are made through legislations, common law is based on judicial precedence or past decisions. However, Acts of parliaments usually ranks the highest on the land and as such overriding any other laws. Therefore, in any case a conflict arises between Acts of Parliament and common law; the former will prevail since parliamentarians are a representative of the people. As such, statutes prevail to show that the final decision is vested in the people and not individuals as the case in common law (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Are “law” and “justice” one and the same thing? Discuss

Although law and justice normally go hand in hand, the two are different to a great extent. The main difference between the two terms is that laws are systems of rules that are created to govern the conduct and behaviours of people and institutions in a society. Laws are made by legislators or through case laws and must be obeyed by all. On the other hand, justice deals with ethics, morality, equity and righteousness among others. The justice principle holds that all people must be accorded equal and same treatment. Therefore, it becomes clear that, as much as justice is a part of law, the two concepts are different (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Briefly explain the main sources of Australian Law?

Australian laws are derived from two main sources, namely common law and statute laws. Common law is a law that is made by judges are used as reference in present judgments. In this regard, the judgements made by higher courts are used as precedents which lower courts are expected to follow when making judgments. Statute/legislative laws are laws made by Australian parliamentarians. The legislative laws are supreme to the common laws made by judges in courts. Other sources of Australian laws include customary laws international treaties (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Explain the main differences between a common law system of the law and a civil law system of the law?

The difference between the two is that, in common law system, case laws predominates whereas; in civil la systems are predominated by codified statutes (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Chapter 2

Review question:

Do you think that the “bloody code” in England led to any reduction in the crime rate? What factors do think contributed to the high crime rate at the time? Do you think that harsher penalties for those caught committing crimes today will lead to a reduction in crime overall, or does history show otherwise?

The bloody code did not help reduce the rate of crime because as much as the code introduced death penalty, it failed to act as deterrence. For instance, in 1660s there were only 50 crimes recorded in England. However, the rate of crime increased to 228 by 1815 under the operation of the bloody code (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

The factors responsible for the high crime rate at the time include high poverty and unemployment rates, as well as lack of effective legal system to deal with crime.

Although a section of the society feels that introducing harsher penalty is the best way of dealing with crime, personally, I believe that this is not the solution as history has proved that harsher crimes do not deter crime. Many countries apply death penalty for violent crimes, such as murder and robbery with violence. However, these crimes have persisted. Therefore, there is a need to find a better way of dealing with crime other that resorting to harsher punishments.

Discuss the effect f the high court of Australia’s decision in Mabo, if any, on native title today?

The Mabo decision that was passed by the Australian High Court in 1992 is likely to have a profound effect on the Native title today. In particular, the Mabo decision is likely to affect the Native title today in the sense that this judgment denied the Aboriginals the right to compensation for lands that were acquired by the crown before 1975. This implies that the current Aboriginals can only be compensated for lands acquired by the crown after 1975 (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Briefly explain the effect of commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (Imp) on the colonies?

The Commonwealth of Australia (1900) is a very important legislation in Australia. This law had a profound impact on the colonies in the sense that it gave the six Australian colonies permission to govern in their own right as part of the Australian Commonwealth (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Discuss the effect of the Australia Act 1986 (Cth) and the Australia (Request and Consent) Act 1985 (Cth) on the Australian legal system?

The Australia Act 1986 impacted the Australian legal system by giving Australian legislators the power to pass laws that are in contravention to the Common Law Rights of Australian public. The Australia Act 1985 also impacted Australia’s legal system by abolishing the repugnance rule that gave the state law powers that were considered inconsistent with the English law (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Explain the meaning of the terms “exclusive powers”, “concurrent powers”, and “residual powers” in the context of Australian Constitution?

Exclusive powers are those powers that exercised at the national level particularly by the Commonwealth and include such powers as power to control customs, excise and defence.

Concurrent powers are those powers that are shared among the three levels of government and include powers such as power over health, education, and business regulation among others.

Residual powers are powers that are vested exclusively on states and include power over education, transport and local government (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

What reasons can be put forward to explain the Resistance by Australian voters to constitutional change in Australia?

Most Australian voters have resisted constitutional changes because they fear that amending the constitution would result in the centralization of the legislative power that would work to the disadvantage of the public. Others also believe the federal system is the best for Australia and that amending the constitution might change this form of government (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Tutorial question:

Explain why English government resorted to transportation of convicts to the colonies?

The English government resorted to transportation of convicts to the colonies, such as Australia for two main reasons. First, the English government transported convicts to its colonies so as to ensure the safety of hulks. It is for this reason that convicts of most violent crimes were transported so as to ensure the safety of hulks. The other reason for transportation is to safe cost associated with keeping penitentiaries (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Explain why it was important to define the status of a colony upon statement?

Defining the status of the colony upon statement is important because it enables a country to understand its history and how best to govern (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Briefly explain what effect, if any, the high court of Australia’s decisions, such as Mabo and Wik, have had on the doctrine of reception and the Australian legal system

The Australian High Court decisions, such as the Mabo decision has had a huge impact of Australia’s legal system. The Mabo decision, for example, recognized the land rights of the Aboriginals while challenging the country’s legal system in two ways. This includes giving complete land ownership in the Colony to the Crown, which had profound effect on Australia’s legal system (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

With three tiers of government and a population of a little over 24 million people, is Australia over-governed and over-taxed? Discuss

It is true that Australia is both over governed and over taxed. Having three levels of government is burdening Australians as they have to pay high taxes to finance the three levels of government. Furthermore, having three levels of government is unnecessary as it results in over governance. As such, it would be good if the country amends its constitution so as to reduce the levels of government to two: federal and state government (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Will Australia ever become a republic? Research the debates that took place in 1999, and consider weather they are more or less valid today?

Australia is one of the present day democracies that are led by a monarch. However, evidences indicate that Australia could soon become a republic state. As times are changing, Australians are recognizing the importance of having a republic country so as to stop its reliance on the British monarch that has been sitting above the national institutions. Australians currently understands that, by having a republic, they would have one of them as Head of State elected through a popular vote. This trend has been demonstrated since 1999 and it is just a matter of time before Australia agrees to amend its constitution to ensure complete independence and become a republic nation (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

List the three functions of government referred to in the doctrine of separation of power, and consider weather you think that the distinction today is in fact artificial?

Australia is made of three levels of governments namely the federal, state and local governments. The three major functions of the government referred to under the doctrine of separation of powers include provision of common defence, promote general welfare and to establish justice. Personally, I feel that the doctrine of separation of powers is here to stay because the public recognizes its value in ensuring the smooth running of the government (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Are judicial appointments to the bench of the high court of Australia consistent with the doctrine of separation of powers? Discuss

The doctrine of separation of powers divides power among the executive, legislature and parliament that work together in serving the people but maintain their independence. Based on how bench of high court of Australia is appointed, it becomes clear that the appointment is consistent with the doctrine of separation of powers. This is because the high court bench is Governor-General in Council, which is an independent body that has no influence either from the executive or parliament (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

What reasons can be put forward to explain why it is so difficult to get constitutional change in Australia?

Australian Constitution has been very difficult to change. Since federation, only eight amendments have been passed out of the 44 that have been subjected to a referendum. The difficulty in changing the Australian Constitution emanates from the fact that the Constitution has to be subjected to two stages that are characterized by politics. This includes subjecting the amendments to both the Federal Parliament houses after which it must be approved by the majority of Australians voters in the entire country. In addition, the majority in the states must also approve the amendments. All these stages are characterized by politics, which makes it difficult to change (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Chapter 3

Review questions

What is the original jurisdictional limit of the inferior courts in civil matters where you live? Can it be exceeded? 

The inferior courts have the powers to hear cases that are civil in nature. However, their powers are limited to hearing only those civil cases that minor, such as those involving claims of debts, car accidents and minor contractual issues. Additionally, the inferior courts have the powers to hear matters outside those involving damage claims arising from federal and state laws. The inferior courts are not allowed to work outside their jurisdiction, though the powers of each inferior court may vary from one state to another.

Explain why an inferior court has no appellate jurisdiction?

Appellate jurisdiction refers to the power that a higher court has to hear a case that has been heard and determined by a lower court. Because appeals usually come from lower level courts, there is no way an appeal can come from a higher court to an inferior court as courts have hierarchy and working relationships.

Why do Magistrate’s or Local courts handle around 90 per cent of all matters that come into the court system?

About 90% of all cases in Australia are handled by Magistrate’s or local courts. This is because most cases that end up in courts are minor and falls under the jurisdictions of Magistrate’s or local courts. In criminal cases, the local or Magistrate courts are the once that hear such matters fast and send them to higher courts if the court feels the necessity. This has resulted in a situation where the majority of cases are handled by these courts.

 Explain why you think that there has been a growth in specialist courts?

The growth in specialist courts is attributed to a number of reasons. Firstly, specialist courts have increased in the recent times as a response to the increased workloads handed by ordinary courts. As such, specialists’ courts have come up in large numbers to help relieve the intermediate courts of the heavy workload. Secondly, these courts have grown in number because the specialists are experts that are able to handle the growing concern of people in the society, such as domestic violence and drugs. Additionally, specialist courts have become common these days these courts help in dealing with matters that require specialists, such as matters to do with worker’s compensations (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Explain the difference, if any, between a Supreme Court and a court of appeal?

Supreme Court is the highest court on land that and is deals with the interpretation of the Constitution and appeals from lower courts. A court of appeal, on the other hand, is a court that handles only appeals from lower courts. This implies that even the High Court is a court of appeal since it has the powers to deal with appeals coming from lower level courts (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

How does the original jurisdiction of the High Court of Australia differ from that of the state superior courts? 

The High Court is one of the federal courts in Australia that has both the original and appellate jurisdictions. The High Court of Australia has original jurisdiction, in which the judge has the power to decide cases involving both cases of facts and law. Under its original jurisdiction, there is no provision for juries. This is what makes its original jurisdiction different from that of the state superior courts in the sense that, in state superior courts, there is usually a provision for juries in their original jurisdiction (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Upon what grounds does the High Court of Australia rely for appellate jurisdiction in both state and federal matters? 

The High Court of Australia can rely for the appellate jurisdictions in both state and federal matters in instances where special need to appeal are required. In such a situation, the High Court will examine merits of the application made and decide whether or not it warrants hearing. However, the High Court would only grant a special leave to appeal where the case involves an important matter of law or serious crime or where the issue to be determined involves serious miscarriage of justice (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

3.8 Is the High Court of Australia a state or a federal court? Explain your answer.

The High Court of Australia is a federal court. This is because the Australian High Court was created in 1901 under section 71 of the Constitution to hear cases against the Commonwealth law, interpret the Constitution, as well as to hear appeals within the country’s legal system. Therefore, because the high court is serves as the final court of appeal, this makes it a federal and not a state court (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

What reasons can be put forward for the growth in eCourts?

There has been a huge growth in eCourts in Australia over the last few years. The growth in eCourts in the country is attributed to the fact that advocates and the public are demanding a faster and cost effective way of accessing courts and reducing the cost of litigations, which is only assured by e-technology. Courts are also finding it valuable to adopt e-technology because it allows for easy filing and communication between the judges, prosecutors and the litigants and their advocates. Additionally, e-technology allows for easy filing system that ensures easy allocation of files (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

List the reasons that have led to the rapid growth in administrative tribunals and alternative methods of dispute resolution?

Administrative and alternative dispute resolution methods (ADR) have experienced tremendous growth over the past decades because of a number of reasons. Firstly, administrative tribunals have grown over the years because the society believes that tribunals are more effective in doing justice to parties in technical cases than law courts. This is because administrative tribunals are made of experts that are able to handle technical cases judiciously. The same applies to ADR methods, such as arbitration, mediation and collaboration that involve people with skills on the matters being addressed. Secondly, administrative tribunals and ADR mechanisms have grown to help ordinary courts cope with the heavy workload that has been caused by the growth of industries, commerce and trade. Therefore, to ensure timely hearing of cases, tribunals and ADR are being formed to assist ordinary courts. Additionally, administrative tribunals have grown over the years because they are less costly to the parties as the decisions are faster compared to conventional courts that might take too long to address an issue. The same applies to ADR which have grown because they are cost-effective since it involves resolving differences out of courts, which does not require payment of legal fees (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

In what ways do the procedures of the tribunals differ from those of the traditional courts? 

The procedures of the tribunals differ from that of the traditional courts because the steps are distinct. Before any tribunal hearing, the first step usually involves performance of s preliminary review and is done to ensure that the correct tribunal hears the case. This is followed by case management, which is conducted to ensure that every party to the case understands the matter at hand for smooth hearing. The third step is mediation or settlement conference, which is held with the aim of helping the disputing parties agree on a solution without subjecting the parties to a tribunal hearing. The final stage is the hearing, which is held if the parties to disputing parties fail to resolve their disputes. This procedure is different from that followed in ordinary courts (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

What is the importance of a court hierarchy in the legal system?

Court hierarchy is important in the legal system for a variety of reasons.

  1. Allows the application of the doctrine of precedence

  2. Allows complainants to appeal lower court decisions that they are not satisfied with in higher courts

  3. Promotes the existence of inferior courts at local levels to deal with minor cases

  4. Promotes specialization

  5. Promotes development of expertise (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

What essential elements need to be present for a class action to be commenced? 

The following elements must be satisfied to commence a class action:

  1. There must be at least seven people with a claim against the defendant

  2. The claim by the plaintiffs must have arisen from related circumstance

The claims must be substantial an involve issue of fact or law (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of representative or class action proceedings?

Advantages

  • Low litigation costs due to aggregation of little claims

  • Help in consolidating many court cases into one, which minimizes the burden on courts

  • Eliminate chances on giving inconsistent judgments due to consolidation of cases.

  • Improves negotiation positions

  • May provide the only means of addressing individual issues

No risk of legal fees (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Disadvantages

  • Force individuals to give up their rights to file individual suits

  • More complex and takes longer than conventional litigations

  • Differences between individual cases are overlooked (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Tutorial question:

Explain why the role of the jury appears to be declining in civil trials but not in criminal trials?

The role of the jury appears to be declining in civil cases compared to criminal cases because the jury lacks the power to award damages, which is critical in civil cases. Secondly, the jury’s roles in civil cases is declining compared to criminal cases, because in civil cases, only two parties are involved, while in criminal cases, it is between the state and them. Additionally, because the balance of probability standard is easier to prove, the jury has nothing much to do as opposed to criminal trials that require a case to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Explain the difference between the burden of proof in a civil case and the burden of proof in a criminal case?

Burden of proof in civil and criminal cases differ in the sense that, in civil cases, the burden of proof lies with the complainant while in criminal case, the burden of proof lies with the state. This implies that, in criminal case, the state prosecutor must prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty. As such, in criminal cases, it is assumed that the accused is innocent until proven otherwise (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Explain what a representative or class action is and when it is likely to arise?

Class action or representative action is a form of lawsuit that involves a group of people who are jointly represented in the lawsuit by one of the group members. Class actions arise can arise where one of the members of the class of accused happens to be a citizen of a different state from that of the defendants. It can also arise in situations where one of the members of the class of accused is a foreign state while the defendant is a citizen of a state (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

How successful has the appointment of ombuds been in Australia? Discuss.

The Australian Ombudsman office plays a critical role of acting as a link between the people and the government and other large institutions. The office plays a critical role of investigation complaints raised by members of the public regarding government or administrative actions and decisions that institutions make to ensure that they do not violate the rights of the people. The appointment of in Australia has been successful considering that the office has had many office holders of the past two decades without squabbles (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

In commercial matters, is the common law adversarial system the best way of settling disputes? Discuss. 

Adversarial system that legal system in which the accused and defendant’s advocates present their client’s case before an independent jury who determine the truthfulness of their case. Personally, I feel that this is still the best way of settling disputes because it gives both the accused and the defendant a chance to raise their cases and convince the jury or judge that their perspective of the case is right. Furthermore, the fact that the arguments put by advocates on both sides are evaluated and decision arrived at by independent judges makes this form of dispute resolution an effective one (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Is there still a role for the jury in today’s legal system? Discuss

The jury certainly still plays a critical role in today’s legal system. Although juries of today say nothing when in the court room, they usually retire to secluded room where they help in determining the facts of a case. Today, the juries are still seen playing important roles in a number of courts. Firstly, juries still play a huge role in Crown courts where they help in deciding matters related to criminal indictments, such as murder and rape. In serious crimes, a jury consisting of 12 members is usually required to help in determining the case. The jury system also still play a critical role in the High Courts in handling cases dealing with false imprisonment, defamation, fraud and malicious prosecutions among others (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Explain the reasons for the growth of judicial and quasi-judicial tribunals?

Judicial and quasi tribunals have experienced tremendous growth over the past decades because of a number of reasons. Firstly, the tribunals have grown over the years because the society believes that tribunals are more effective in doing justice to parties in technical cases than law courts. This is because tribunals are made of experts that are able to handle technical cases judiciously. Secondly, tribunals have grown to help ordinary courts cope with the heavy workload that has been caused by the growth of industries, commerce and trade. Therefore, to ensure timely hearing of cases, tribunals are being formed to assist ordinary courts (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

List three methods of alternative dispute resolution, and briefly explain each?

The three alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms are mediation, arbitration and collaboration. Mediation is an ADR in which a training and independent professional mediator helps parties in a dispute resolve their differences. However, a mediator has no powers to impose a solution on parties on dispute.

Arbitration is an ADR mechanism where parties in dispute agree to have an arbiter help them resolve their disputes and is voluntary. An arbiter is an impartial person and has the powers to issue a final decision that is binding on both parties (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Collaboration is a form of ADR in which parties in a dispute agrees to have an external consultant help them solve their differences out of courts. In collaboration, there is nothing like acting as a neutral third party (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Describe the federal and state court hierarchies, and explain their relationship to the doctrine of precedent?

In Australia, the state court hierarchies include:

  1. Magistrate or local courts-This court has jurisdictions to deal with minor cases

  2. Intermediate courts-These courts powers to deal with both criminal and civil cases.

  3. Supreme courts-These courts have unlimited powers to deal with criminal and civil case and appellate powers. It is the highest court on land.

Federal courts hierarchies include the federal magistrate’s courts, the family court, the federal court and the high court. All the courts have both powers to here and determine original and appeals (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Lower courts in the hierarchy are expected to abide by precedents made by higher courts in the hierarchy (Gibson and Fraser, 2013).

Reference

Gibson, A., & Fraser, D. (2013). Business law 2014. Sidney: Pearson Higher Education AU.