Identify and apply the legal framefwrok

Answer the following questions by circling the letter that corresponds with a correct answer.

1 The Australian Legal System is based upon the:
(a) British Law System
(b) American Bill of Rights
(c) Constitution of Australia
(d) British Feudal Law System

2 The two principal sources of Australian law are:
(a) Common law and precedent law
(b) Statute law and case law
(c) Common law and law reports
(d) Statute law and regulations

3 The main authority to make laws in Australia rests with:
(a) Judges
(b) Governor-General
(c) Superior Courts
(d) Parliaments

4 The person bringing a civil case to court is referred to as the:
(a) Prosecutor
(b) Defendant
(c) Plaintiff
(d) Convicted

5 A woman who killed her husband claiming years of abuse as her defence would be tried in the:
(a) High Court
(b) Family Court
(c) Supreme Court
(d) Federal Court

6 The strongest protection against abuses of power within Australian parliament is:
(a) The existence of the referendum process
(b) The separation of powers
(c) The judiciary caste system
(d) The establishment of a precedent based Common law system

7 In Queensland, the Lower House of Parliament is known as:
(a) House of Representatives
(b) Legislative Assembly
(c) Legislative Council
(d) There is no lower house- it was abolished

8 Australian Parliament is given legislative power via:
(a) Section 51 of the Constitution
(b) Section 31 of the Constitution
(c) Section 15 of the constitution
(d) Section 13 of the Constitution

9 Which of these is NOT a step in the process of changing the Constitution?
(a) Receiving royal assent
(b) Adhering to the principle of ratio decidendi
(c) Holding a referendum
(d) Receiving a double majority

10 One thing the Constitution DOES NOT do is:
(a) Establish the High Court of Australia
(b) Allocate executive power
(c) Establish Canberra as the nation’s capital
(d) Allow for an Australian democracy

In the space provided, write an appropriate legal word or words which most correctly match the following descriptions:

(a) The Court which decides Constitutional matters _________________
(b) Legal principles which are considered but are not used in a court’s final decision ______________________________
(c) A person who has the final responsibility in passing new Statute law at a State level____________________________
(d) The type of law where others take action against the offender on behalf of society ______________________
(e) A draft of proposed legislation presented to Parliament ________________

Draw a diagram showing the court structure in Australia. Within each court, suggest one case that might be heard in that court which clearly shows the jurisdiction the court has.

On your own paper, write a response of two or three (2 or 3) paragraphs outlining the responsibilities and roles of a judge in the courtroom. Your paragraph must demonstrate correct use of ALL of the following legal terms:

• Precedent
• Convicted
• Ratio decidendi
• Sentence
• Acquitted
• Obiter dicta

Read the following 3 (three) case studies then answer the three questions that follow:

O’Brien and Freyling have been neighbours for many years. O’Brien buys a house cow and on its first night it goes through their common fence and eats all of Freyling’s roses which were soon to be entered in the local show. Freyling sues O’Brien for damages and the District Court judge decides in favour of Freyling stating that where an owner of livestock has inadequate fencing he is liable for damages caused if the livestock escapes through that fencing.

Pitot is in the process of doing extensive renovations to her house and yard, including installing a new swimming pool. While Taylor is on holidays, Pitot dismantles part of their adjoining fence to dig out the roots of a tree she has chopped down. Taylor’s goats escape through the gap in the fence and cause havoc on Pitot’s property including damage to freshly laid concrete and eating some of her new pool furnishings. Pitot brings an action in the District Court claiming damages and relying on the decision in O’Brien v Freyling. Taylor defends the case by arguing that his fencing was adequate and that O’brien v Freyling should not apply. The judge decides in favour of Taylor since his fencing was adequate and because a livestock owner who takes all reasonable precautions to ensure his livestock do not damage neighbour’s property can not be liable if, through the actions of others, they do damage property. Also, he felt that it was a matter of common courtesy for a person to tell their neighbour if they intend to temporarily dismantle their common fence.

Allen, a horse owner, lives next to Robinson. One night in a fierce storm, their adjoining fence is struck by lightning and one of Allen’s horses, in a state of fright, runs onto Robinson’s property and straight into Robinson’s Porsche, causing considerable damage. Robinson brings an action in the Supreme Court.

1. Clearly state the ratio decidendi in Pitot v Taylor.

2. Choose an example of obiter dicta in Pitot v Taylor

3. Which (if any) of the two cases (O’Brien v Freyling, Pitot v Taylor) is binding
precedent on the judge in Robinson v Allen? Briefly explain.

Answer the following by writing TRUE or FALSE next to the following statements.
(a) The Queensland court system is a hierarchical or tier-court system
(b) District courts have only an original jurisdiction
(c) A civil offence involving $238 500 would be heard in the Supreme Court
(d) The main role of the courts is to interpret statute law
(e) The onus of proof is equal through all court proceedings
(f) The leader of the State Government is the Premier
(g) A court’s authority to hear a particular case is referred to as its hierarchy
(h) If there is an inconsistency between a law made by a court decision and a law made by an Act of Parliament, the Act of Parliament will be applied
(i) The standard of proof required in a civil case is probable cause
(j) The Separation of Powers is a split in power between Legislative, Parliament and Judicial functions

End of Examination

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