Commercial Law Revision These revision notes are not intended to be a complete account of the course content. For more detailed information. Please refer to the course texts. Lectures and tutorials and other law resources.
What is law?
Legislation from Parliament
From bodies to whom the power has been delegated
Decisions from senior courts
The “law” can be classified in many different ways:
Examine what specific areas law covers
Historical division of law into principles of common law and equity
Geographical limits: Common law system vs civil law system
Government has 3 distinct areas of power:
Separation of powers doctrine: A concept inherited from England
Based on the idea that Government is divided into 3 separate and theoretically independent organs:
The legislature (Parliament), which makes the laws;
The executive (The Crown, the Ministry & the public service). Which administers the laws; and
The judicature (The judges and the courts). Which interprets, applies and enforces the laws
Australian States have their own Constitutions and generally the States are authorised to make laws. “for the peace, order and good government” of the State
However these wide legislative powers must be understood in the light of the Commonwealth Constitution
Gives the Commonwealth government both concurrent and exclusive legislative powers-
Concurrent: Those legislative powers shared with the states
Exclusive: Legislative powers that are only to be utilised by the Commonwealth Parliament
If there are powers not listed in the Commonwealth Constitution these may be regarded as residuaL. And are therefore the domain of the State legislatures
Sources of Law – Common Law
Law made by judges in adjudicating disputes is often referred to as Case Law or Common Law and it includes:
Decisions made by judges where no legislation applie. and
Judges interpretations of particular statutes and regulations
Causing Harm: Torts and Negligence
Law of Tort
A tort is a civil wrong. It provides a mechanism whereby an individual can protect their personal and property rights.
If these rights are infringed. The victim may seek compensation from the wrongdoer.