A law is a collective organization of individual rights. The law provides for the innate protection as required by every people living in a particular society. Everybody has inherent natural rights to defend his own being, his freedom, and his belongings. These three basic entities are the requirements of life, and the law strives to protect these at all times. The law’s main purpose is to maintain the liberty and the privileges given to every person. And this feat would eventually cause peace, justice, and harmony to reign over us all (Bastiat 2004).
Laws are collectively referred to as the country’s legal system, and it is administered through the courts, which in turn, consist of judges, juries, and magistrates. These are what constitute a country’s judicial system – the political representation of the laws and its preservation, power, and enforcement.
The Process of Making a Law
The Australian law starts out as a bill, which is a document that proposes an entirely new law or an amendment to an existing one. The bill can be passed by any member of the Parliament, although the idea of making a law comes from government departments or from political parties, as announced in the party platforms during election campaigns. A bill passed by a Minister as projected by the government is called the “Government Bill.” If an individual parliament member passes a bill, it is called a “Private Member’s Bill.”
A bill is not a law yet; it has to be first approved by both the Houses of Parliament, namely the Senate and the House of Representative, and affirmed by the Governor-General. The two Houses of Parliament will be assessing the bill and has the power to add proposals to make the necessary changes in it. These proposals are usually debated on; speeches are crafted to pronounce a member’s stand towards the bill. The parliament will be voting towards the approval or the shelving of the bill. Usually, the bill has to be read thrice and has to go through all the necessary changes before it is successfully passed on each House of the Parliament.
Criminal Law Vs. Civil Law
Criminal law is commonly known as the penal law, and it pertains to the body of statutory and common law that dwells with the process of punishing specific conducts of felony. A criminal offense is a grave one, because its nature may cause menace to the society. This is also the reason why criminal law offenses has graver punishments – because criminal law is made so as to achieve peace, justice, and social order. The four theories of criminal justice, such as punishment, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation, are being observed here at all times. A proper criminal procedure addresses a variety of issues relating to how far the police may go in investigating criminal activity, how suspected offenders are processed and charged prior to trial, and how their cases are tried and reviewed in the courts (Brody 2001). Examples of a criminal law offense are murder, assault, battery, smuggling, kidnapping, extortion, and forgery among others. Criminal offenses are tried in a criminal law court.
Civil law deals mainly with infringements of rights. Individuals, companies, and governments bring civil suits for claimed wrongs perpetrated by others, or breaches of contracts or duties (Gregory 2005). Civil laws are non-criminal statues and it includes private law in the common law systems. A systematic compilation of civil law is called the civil code. Civil law generally engages in the correlation of persons and organizations, and it strives to maintain their good relationship. Commercial laws and some types of administrative laws are both under the umbrella of civil law. Examples of civil law violations are the probate of wills and trusts, disputes involving accidents, injunctions, or change of legal status like divorce and annulment cases. These cases are all tried under the civil law courts.
The Law and Society
A society simply cannot exist unless people respect its governing law to a considerable degree. Laws have the power to settle certain issues in the society and the government. If all people respect the law enough, they would choose to reconcile their individual differences to the context of what is right and valid, as provided by the law’s provisions. All laws should be respectable and sound enough to be appreciated by people. Law and morality should also come hand in hand; otherwise, the people have to choose either losing his morality or his respect of the law. Laws are created so as to maintain justice into the society; therefore the law and justice should be one and the same in the minds of the people (Bastiat 2004).
Lawmakers should take it upon themselves to make and amend laws according to the interests of the general public and not for their own personal gains. Laws should help accelerate the resolution of current social conflicts and national dilemma. Every law in the land should represent the citizens of the country accordingly. The law is so powerful it can make a society; and that power is also enormous enough to destroy it in a rather big and convincing way.
The Law and The People it serves
Laws are specifically made to protect the individual needs and differences of the people in the society. Such an example is the Elderly Laws that are enacted to protect the aged and preserve their importance in the society. Australia’s National Health Act is enforced to take care of their well-being. There is also the Home Nursing Subsidy Act and more recently, the Aged Care Act to help supplement the elderly daily needs living necessities.
And to protect the family, Australia maintains the Family Law act, which guards the basic unit of the society and that is the family. The act also enforces the protection of children, who needed it the most. Children needed suitable representation in the community and the law gives that to them accordingly.
The disabled members of the Australian Society are also well taken-cared of by the law. The Disability Law allows school children to be properly accommodated in schools so that they continue to acquire proper education despite their physical states. The Disabled-rights law also covers the blind people, the deaf, and the mute, and promotes their individual rights to make them even more productive members of the society. The law also provides for their special privileges to help with their daily existence. The Public Law No. 94-142, called the “All Handicapped Children Act” covers the special children with special needs (Bartlett and Wegner 1985)
The Australian law is intensely compiled, created, and enacted to serve a greater purpose in the society. The burden of enhancing the laws does not depend solely on the solons and lawmakers. We, as individual members of the society, have an immense duty to promote and participate in the creation of these laws as well. We have to be active members of the society and have to make a mark for our own good.
Bartlett, Katharine T and Wegner, Judith Welch ed. (1987) Children With Special Needs. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers. 9-10
Bastiat, Frederick. (2004). The Law. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. 4-9.
Brody, David C. (2001). Criminal Law. Maryland: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. 1-3
Gregory, Peter. Court Reporting in Australia. (2005). Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. 23-24