Support Material for Legal Studies


Option 5: Shelter 25% of course time



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Option 5: Shelter 25% of course time



Principal focus: Through the use of contemporary examples, students investigate the legal means of securing shelter and the effectiveness of the law in achieving justice for people seeking and providing shelter.




Outcomes

H1. identifies and applies legal concepts and terminology

H2. describes and explains key features and the relationship between Australian and international law

H3. analyses the operation of domestic and international legal systems

H4. evaluates the effectiveness of the legal system in addressing issues

H5. explains the role of law in encouraging cooperation and resolving conflict, as well as initiating and responding to change

H6. assesses the nature of the interrelationship between the legal system and society

H7. evaluates the effectiveness of the law in achieving justice

H8. locates, selects, organises, synthesises and analyses legal information from a variety of sources including legislation, cases, media, international instruments and documents

H9. communicates legal information using well-structured and logical arguments



H10. analyses differing perspectives and interpretations of legal information and issues




Themes and challenges to be incorporated throughout the topic:

  • the role of the law in encouraging cooperation and resolving conflict in regard to shelter

  • issues of compliance and non-compliance


  • laws relating to shelter as a reflection of changing values and ethical standards

  • the role of law reform in protecting the rights of those seeking shelter

  • the effectiveness of the legal and non-legal responses in achieving just outcomes for the provision of shelter.







Assessment: Group ICT task.


Students learn about:

Students learn to:

Suggested teaching and learning strategies

Themes and challenges

1. The nature of shelter










  • definition of ‘shelter’




  • right to shelter




  • define shelter and outline the extent of laws concerning shelter



Define shelter and the right to shelter. Using the UN Declaration of Human Rights, explain why the right to shelter is internationally recognised.

Compile a photo story of different types of shelter from around the world.
Discussion: Should there be a right to shelter? Link to the photo story.


  • laws relating to shelter as a reflection of changing values and ethical standards




  • obligation to provide shelter



  • types of shelter




  • examine the obligation of state and federal governments to provide shelter




  • describe the types of shelter





Discussion: Should state and federal governments have an obligation to provide shelter? Complete a table of arguments for and against this notion. Examine the current obligations of state and federal governments to provide shelter.
Mind map: Outline the different types of shelter. Students construct a glossary for shelter using appropriate texts.
Resources: www.un.org

www.hreoc.gov.au/info_for_students/essentials/undhr/index.html#

www.australia.gov.au/topics/economy-money-and-tax/property-and-housing

www.nsw.gov.au/topics/property-and-housing

Hot Topics, No. 57, Shelter, 2006




2. Legal protection and remedies associated with securing shelter








  • purchasing including:


  • separate dwelling or shared space

  • private treaty or auction






Purchasing

Define separate dwelling, shared space, private treaty, auction, systems of registration.

Research activity: Investigate sources of information that will assist people to purchase property.

Construct a flow diagram to illustrate the process of buying a home in NSW highlighting the decisions and choices that homebuyers need to make.




  • systems of registration

  • sources of finance

  • protection for buyers




  • assess the role of the legal system in protecting those securing and providing shelter

Obtain a copy of a contract, investigating such terms as cooling-off period, exchange, settlement, inclusions, vendor.
Construct a table comparing and contrasting sources of finance
(eg banks, mortgage broker), cost, fine-print, choices.

Compile a list of the ways that home buyers are protected in NSW.

  • the role of the law in encouraging cooperation and resolving conflict in regard to shelter






Written response: Scaffold the following essay in class, constructing an introductory paragraph and main points. Students then complete an extended response to:

‘Assess the effectiveness of the legal system in protecting home buyers’.

Guest speaker: Invite a real estate agent or conveyancer to address the class.

Resources: www.mortgage.com.au

www.firsthome.gov.au/

www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

www.realestate.com.au

Real estate publications, eg the Domain Property Guide



The Law Handbook, the Redfern Legal Centre Publishing

Fact sheets from the Office of Fair Trading.






  • leasing including:

  • rights and obligations of landlords and tenants

  • protection for tenants, landlords, boarders and lodgers




Leasing

Activity: Collect a range of newspapers, students to research and cut out different types of rental properties. Compare five properties looking at weekly rent, size, location and inclusions.

Go to www.tenants.org.au. Provide a summary of the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 and Residential Tenancies Regulation 2006 including:

  • aim and purpose

  • rights and responsibilites.










  • How effective is this legislation in responding to the needs of tenants and landlords?
  • List the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants.


  • How are they protected?

  • Who are boarders and lodgers? Examine how they are protected in NSW.

  • issues of compliance and non-compliance

  • securing other types of shelter such as aged care, residential parks and squats




  • evaluate the effectiveness of legal and non-legal measures in achieving justice for people seeking shelter




Other types of shelter

Group ICT: Each group is to outline one example of securing other types of shelter and prepare a PowerPoint presentation that addresses the following:

  • description/definition

  • relevant legislation

  • rights and obligations

  • protection afforded

  • advantages and disadvantages

  • non-legal support advocacies.

  • the effectiveness of the legal and non-legal responses in achieving just outcomes in regard to the provision of shelter




  • the role of law reform in protecting the rights of those seeking shelter




  • dispute resolution

    mechanisms



  • the roles of:

  • courts and tribunals

  • alternative dispute resolution

  • government organisations

  • non-governmental organisations

  • the media






Dispute resolution mechanisms


Media file: Collect articles to illustrate causes of disputes between:


  • neighbours

  • landlords and tenants

  • vendors and purchasers

  • builders and home owners.



Watch an appropriate segment of The Castle.
Create a flow diagram of dispute resolution ranging from non-legal responses to legal measures. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each and evaluate their effectiveness.
Resources: www.cttt.nsw.gov.au

www.cjc.nsw.gov.au

www.tenants.org.au

The Castle, 1997, Working Dog Productions

P Bellemore 2007, The Tenants’ Rights Manual:


A Practical Guide to Renting in NSW
, 3rd edn, The Federation Press, Sydney.


    issues of compliance and non-compliance




  • the effectiveness of the legal and non-legal responses in achieving just outcomes in regard to provision of shelter




3. Contemporary issues concerning shelter










Issues that must be studied:

  • affordability




  • identify and investigate these contemporary issues involving the provision of shelter and evaluate the effectiveness of legal and non-legal responses to these issues

Affordability

Collect a range of articles and conduct a web search about housing affordability in NSW and Australia. Students analyse and discuss issues identified.
Discussion: What measures have been taken to address the issue of housing affordability? Make reference to housing stress, rental shortages, bankruptcy and interest rates. Evaluate the effectiveness of legal and non-legal mechanisms in addressing housing affordability.

Resources: www.shelternsw.org.au/index.shtml

www.housingaffordabilityaustralia.com

www.abs.gov.au

Julian Disney 2007, Affordable Housing in Australia: Some Key Problems and Priorities for Action

Julian Disney 2006, Affordable Housing – A Creeping Crisis

Current media.



  • laws relating to shelter as a reflection of changing values and ethical standards



  • the effectiveness of the legal and non-legal responses in achieving just outcomes in regard to the provision of shelter

  • discrimination







Discrimination

Define discrimination, include direct and indirect.

Refer to the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) to ascertain the grounds on which people may be discriminated against when obtaining shelter.

Access the following website:

www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/adb/ll_adb.nsf/pages/adb_cases

Research and outline a case dealing with discrimination in accommodation. Evaluate the effectiveness of legal and non-legal measures dealing with issues of discrimination.


Resource: Hot Topics, No. 40, Discrimination, 2003.



  • the role of law reform in protecting the rights of those seeking shelter

  • homelessness







Homelessness

What does it mean to be homeless? Define homelessness.



Examine the legal and non-legal responses to homelessness, in particular referring to the Oasis Youth Support Network.

Written response: Assess the effectiveness of legal and non-legal responses to homelessness. Support your answer with reference to a variety of sources including cases, legislation, media, international instruments and/or documents.

Resources: www.salvos.org.au/oasis

www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au/site/index.php

www.actnow.com.au/Issues/Homelessness_in_Australia.aspx

www.streetsmartaustralia.org/home

www.homelessnessnsw.org.au



  • laws relating to shelter as a reflection of changing values and ethical standards

  • social housing including public housing, cooperative housing and community housing







Social housing

What is social housing? Provide an historical overview of the development of social housing and reasons for its provision.

Include a discussion of:


  • public housing

  • community housing

  • cooperative housing.



Watch a segment of the DVD 900 Neighbours/The Block and discuss issues raised.

Examine who is eligible for social housing and outline the application process.

Construct a table to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of social housing. Evaluate the provision of social housing in NSW including a discussion of the increasing pressure for crisis accommodation.

Activity: Using recent examples, compile a selection of media references that highlight the social implications of social housing. Students to assume the role of a government official or non-government organisation lobbying for law reform and develop an action plan of how to address the issues (infrastructure, employment, transport, and education/recreation). Students should refer to the LRC website for guidance.
Resources: www.housing.nsw.gov.au

Hot Topics, No. 57, Shelter, 2006.

900 Neighbours: http://aso.gov.au/titles/documentaries/900-neighbours



www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/lrc/ll_lrc.nsf/pages/LRC_index


  • the effectiveness of the legal and non-legal responses in achieving just outcomes for the provision of shelter



  • the role of law reform in protecting the rights of those seeking shelter






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