By David Barker
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Additional resources for Essential Australian Law (Australian Essentials)
Commercial, construction, admiralty, adoptions, probate and the protective lists fall within the Equity Division. 43 ESSENTIAL AUSTRALIAN LAW Drawing on its power as a superior court, a Supreme Court will also have the power to review the decisions and supervise the conduct of all lower courts and tribunals in its State. It will also be responsible for supervising the admission and conduct of all lawyers, both barristers and solicitors, within its jurisdiction. State and Territory intermediate courts Again, these courts are given various titles: • New South Wales: district courts – civil and criminal jurisdiction; • Queensland: district courts – civil and criminal jurisdiction; • South Australia: local courts – civil jurisdiction; district criminal courts – as the title implies, criminal jurisdiction; • Tasmania: only one tier of courts, called ‘inferior’ courts; • Victoria: county courts – civil and criminal jurisdiction; • Western Australia: district court – civil and criminal jurisdiction; • Australian Capital Territory: only one tier of courts, called ‘inferior’ courts; • Northern Territory: only one tier of courts, called ‘inferior’ courts.
Any Act passed by Parliament which is of general application is absolutely binding on all persons within the sphere of Parliament’s jurisdiction. However controversial a particular statute may be, a judge is bound to enforce its provisions. Statutes A statute may be defined as an express and formal enactment of a rule or rules of conduct, to be observed in the future by persons to whom the statute is expressly, or by implication, made applicable. A statute and a court decision may be contrasted thus: 27 ESSENTIAL AUSTRALIAN LAW Statute Judgment Creates new law Disclaims any attempt to create new law Lays down general rules for the guidance of future conduct Applies an existing law to a particular set of circumstances Is imperative Gives reasons The making of a statute The Australian Federal Parliament comprises the Queen (or the Crown), acting through the representative for the Australian Commonwealth, the Governor General, and the legislature itself, with two chambers: the Lower House (the House of Representatives) and the Upper House (the Senate).
Statutory definitions The Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth) is a general federal statute which brings together legislation regarding the construction of Acts of Parliament and provides definitions and rules of construction. This means that, unless there is anything to the contrary: 34 PRIMARY SOURCES OF LAW • words importing the masculine gender include females; • words in the singular include the plural and words in the plural include the singular; • the expression ‘person’ includes a body corporate; • expressions referring to writing are construed as including references to printing, lithography, photography and other modes of representing or reproducing words in a visible form.
Essential Australian Law (Australian Essentials) by David Barker