Fairness and Justice in the Australian Legal System Essay

Fairness and Justice in the Australian Legal System Essay

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The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary defines fairness to be ‘the quality of treating people equally or in a way that is reasonable’ and justice as ‘the quality of being fair or reasonable’ (Oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com, 2014). Investigation of the characteristics of the Australian Legal System (ALS) including its adoption, structure and operational rules, reveal that for the most part the system is based on these two attributes. This inference is further evidenced by the legally binding operational framework assigned to the financial services industry and reflected in the codes of practice that also guide it.

While no system is completely perfect the ALS is designed with the aim to provide fairness and justice. To this extent, it can be said that the ALS is based on fairness and justice. In contrast it could also be argued that the very adoptions of the ALS means it cannot be based on fairness and justice. The ALS was inherited from England, on invasion, under the doctrine of terra nullius, decreeing that Australia was ‘uncultivated land, desert or land belonging to no one’ (Miles and Dowler, 2011 pp 8-18). This gave no fair or just rights to the occupying, Aboriginal custodians of the land and their laws. It was not until the high court case of Mabo v Queensland (1992) 175 CLR 1, that the concept of terra nullius was rejected and, in an attempt to restore fairness and justice, that partial recognition of Aboriginal land rights were given. (Miles and Dowler, 2011 pp 17-18). Despite its unfair and unjust reception, looking to the ALS’s structure and operations reveals that in effect, for the most part the ALS is based on fairness and justice.

The ALSs structure enforces law from two sources, the first being parliamen...


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...Accessed: 6 Mar 2014].
Sweeney, B., O'reilly, J. N. and Coleman, A. 2013. Law in commerce. 5th ed. LexisNexis Butterworths.
Turner, C. and Trone, J. 2013. Australian commercial law. Sydney: Lawbook Co.
Miles, C. and Dowler, W. 2011. A guide to business law. 19th ed. Rozelle, N.S.W.: Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia, Lawbook Co.
Oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com. 2014. fairness - Definition and pronunciation | Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary at OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com. [online] Available at: http://oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/dictionary/fairness [Accessed: 13 Mar 2014].
Oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com. 2014. equity - Definition and pronunciation | Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary at OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com. [online] Available at: http://oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/dictionary/equity [Accessed: 14 Mar 2014].

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