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PATHWAYS

2019

 
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VCE Business Studies

Legal Studies Unit 4: The People and the Law

Prerequisites

Legal Studies Unit 3.

Course Description

The study of Australia’s laws and legal system involves an understanding of institutions that make and reform our laws, and the relationship between the Australian people, the Australian Constitution and law-making bodies. In this unit, students explore how the Australian Constitution establishes the law-making powers of the Commonwealth and State parliaments, and protects the Australian people through structures that act as a check on parliament in law-making. Students develop an understanding of the significance of the High Court in protecting and interpreting the Australian Constitution. They investigate parliament and the courts, and the relationship between the two in law-making, and consider the roles of the individual, the media and law reform bodies in influencing law reform. Throughout this unit, students apply legal reasoning and information to actual scenarios.

Areas of Study

The people and the Australian Constitution

The Australian Constitution establishes Australia’s parliamentary system and provides mechanisms to ensure that parliament does not make laws beyond its powers. In this area of study students examine the relationship between the Australian people and the Australian Constitution and the ways in which the Australian Constitution acts as a check on parliament in law-making. Students investigate the involvement of the Australian people in the referendum process and the role of the High Court in acting as the guardian of the Australian Constitution.

The people, the parliament and the courts

Parliament is the supreme law-making body, and courts have a complementary role to parliament in making laws. Courts can make laws through the doctrine of precedent and through statutory interpretation when determining cases. In this area of study students investigate factors that affect the ability of parliament and courts to make law. They examine the relationship between parliament and courts in law-making and consider the capacity of both institutions to respond to the need for law reform. In exploring the influences on law reform, students draw on examples of individuals and the media, as well as examples from the past four years of law reform bodies recommending legislative change.

Assessment

Outcomes Assessment Tasks Marks Allocated
(school-assessed coursework)
Discuss the significance of High Court cases involving the interpretation of the Australian Constitution and evaluate the ways in which the Australian Constitution acts as a check on parliament in law-making. Case study or test or essay or folio of exercises. 40
Discuss the factors that affect the ability of parliament and courts to make law, evaluate the ability of these law-makers to respond to the need for law reform, and analyse how individuals, the media and law reform bodies can influence a change in the law. Case study or test or essay or folio of exercises. 60
Total Marks 100

Overall Final Assessment

Graded Assessment Title Assessment Exam Duration Contribution to Study Score (%)
1 Unit 3 Coursework School-assessed   25
2 Unit 4 Coursework School-assessed   25
3 Written Examination November 2 hours 50

 

Reproduced by permission of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, Victoria, Australia: www.vcaa.vic.edu.au