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Part II: The individual and the law 30% of course time

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Part II: The individual and the law 30% of course time

Principal focus: Students investigate the way in which the law impacts on individuals by referring to legal and non-legal institutions, laws and media reports.

Outcomes

P1. identifies and applies legal concepts and terminology

P3. describes the operation of domestic and international legal systems

P4. discusses the effectiveness of the legal system in addressing issues

P5. describes the role of law in encouraging cooperation and resolving conflict, as well as initiating and responding to change

P6. explains the nature of the interrelationship between the legal system and society

P7. evaluates the effectiveness of the law in achieving justice

P8. locates, selects and organises legal information from a variety of sources including legislation, cases, media, international instruments and documents

P9. communicates legal information using well-structured responses

P10. accounts for differing perspectives and interpretations of legal information and issues



Themes and challenges to be incorporated throughout the topic:

  • relationship between justice, law and society

  • relationship between rights and responsibilities

  • balancing the rights of individuals with the needs of the state

  • role of the law in regulating technology

  • effectiveness of legal mechanisms for achieving justice for individuals and society.



Assessment task: Research task on a contemporary issue associated with the individual and technology.

Students learn about:


Students learn to:

Suggested teaching and learning strategies

Themes and challenges

1. Your rights and responsibilities










  • the nature of individual rights



  • identify the rights to which individuals are entitled




Pre-test: Brainstorm individual’s rights in Australia. Consider a range of rights.
Outline the major sources for rights in Australia – constitutional, common law, statutory.

  • constitutional rights – examine the constitution. View extracts from The Castle (DVD Working Dog Productions)

  • common law rights (those developed by the courts) such as habeus corpus, procedural fairness, right to a fair trial

  • statutory rights (those made by parliament) such as privacy, freedom of information, and anti-discrimination laws.

  • relationship between justice, law and society








Investigate the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website www.citizenship.gov.au, and list the rights of citizenship.
Extension: www.smartraveller.gov.au
Scenario – As an Australian citizen caught in a major disaster overseas

(eg tsunami or terrorist attack), what are your expectations of the Australian government? Potential responses include: sending armed forces to remove citizens to safety, providing embassy help, assisting in identifying and locating the injured and deceased, helping inform families. Note: teacher could integrate Part III of syllabus, including examples of Australians arrested overseas such as David Hicks, or the Bali Nine, or Stern Hu.

Brainstorm citizens’ responsibilities. Read the relevant parts of www.citizenship.gov.au and discuss the responsibilities.





  • relationship between rights and responsibilities




  • outline the responsibilities of citizens within a society

Students construct a table using the headings Rights and Responsibilities.

Write an explanation of the interrelationship between rights and responsibilities.




  • relationship between rights and responsibilities




  • explain the interrelationship between rights and responsibilities

Extension activity: What are the limitations on rights, eg the right to freedom of speech? Students examine controversial statutes created for special occasions such as the APEC summit and World Youth Day.


  • balancing the rights of individuals with the needs of the state










Write an extended response, or conduct a debate on the topic ‘To what extent should individual rights be limited?’ (students should consider the utilitarian view of law, ie that individual freedoms may need to be limited for the good of the majority, as opposed to protection of individual rights).
Letter to editor responding to the limitations imposed during the APEC summit.


2. Resolving disputes










  • the roles of the federal and state police and other law enforcement agencies




  • outline the role of law enforcement agencies




Group work: Investigate the role of the Australian Federal police and the NSW police.

Resources: www.afp.gov.au Australian Federal Police

www.police.nsw.gov.au NSW Police
Police guest speaker

Brainstorm session – who other than the police has the authority to enforce rights? (delegated legislative bodies, eg Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, local councils, State Rail, Centrelink)

Quick quiz: Matching terms on rights, responsibilities and enforcement




  • resolving disputes between individuals:

  • alternative dispute resolution

  • tribunals

  • courts




  • identify and examine methods of resolving disputes between individuals




List disputes that can occur between individuals (eg between neighbours, in the workplace, consumers, within families).

Outline the operation of alternative dispute resolution processes (ADR), tribunals and courts and prepare a table listing the advantages and disadvantages of each. Include jurisdiction, decision-maker, rules of evidence, and enforceability. Provide an example of the type of matter heard.

Research the role and function of community justice centres.

Resources: www.cjc.nsw.gov.au

Hot Topics, No. 71, Courts, 2009

The Law Handbook, Redfern Legal Centre publishing.


  • relationship between justice, law and society










Role-play activity: Demonstrate a possible dispute and appropriate method of resolution.
Resource: The Law Society of NSW runs the Schools Conflict Resolution and Mediation Competition (SCRAM) for junior students. They provide excellent scripts for this scenario at www.lawsociety.com.au




  • resolving disputes with the state:

  • non-legal methods:

  • media

  • members of parliament

  • trade unions

  • interest groups, including non- government organisations

  • assess the effectiveness of methods of resolving disputes






List disputes that can occur between individuals and the state and contrast with disputes involving individuals.
Make notes on what is meant by non-legal methods.
Media search: Examples of individuals in dispute with the state (such as planning and development issues).
Research: Students examine a local or current dispute such as the one at Catherine Hill Bay, NSW. Catherinehillbay.org.au/save the bay campaign

Discuss the role and power of the media, including the internet, in manipulating public opinion on a range of issues, which may lead to changes in decision-making or law reform.

Group work task to investigate other non-legal methods. Each group should consider the role of the relevant person/organisation, the types of disputes that fall under their area of interest/concern and methods that may be used to assist individuals. Each group should attempt to assess the effectiveness of the person/organisation as a remedy for individuals in dispute with the state, with examples of cases, legislation or media included if possible.


  • the effectiveness of legal mechanisms in achieving justice for individuals and society




  • balancing the rights of individuals with the needs of the state




  • legal methods:

  • internal review

  • external review: administrative, judicial, ombudsman, statutory bodies including: Australian Human Rights Commission, Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC), Royal Commissions


  • distinguish between non-legal and legal methods of enforcing rights and resolving disputes



Discuss differences between legal and non-legal methods of dispute resolution.
Define and distinguish between internal and external review.





  • assess the effectiveness of dispute resolution processes in achieving justice for and between individuals



Student activity on one of the following: the office of the ombudsman, Australian Human Rights Commission, ICAC, Royal Commissions (group work, oral presentation, student-developed worksheet, etc). May include examples of cases or matters that each organisation has heard, and if possible the outcome.


Resources: The following websites are all excellent for students:

www.ombo.nsw.gov.au

www.icac.nsw.gov.au

www.hreoc.gov.au

www.ag.gov.au

The Law Handbook, Redfern Legal Centre Publishing

Hot Topics, No. 71, Courts, 2009

Hot Topics, No. 60, Australian legal system, 2007

Reform, Issue 84, Tribunals, 2004, ALRC


  • effectiveness of legal mechanisms for achieving justice for individuals and society









Topic review: Multiple-choice, mix-and-match quiz or trivia game.
Scaffold in class. Students write an extended response to the following: ‘Using cases, legislation and/or media, assess the effectiveness of dispute resolution processes in achieving justice for and between individuals.’




Contemporary issue:

The individual and technology










  • impacts of technology on the individual



Identify the different purposes of technology including in the areas of medicine, surveillance, communication, entertainment, food production, criminal law, workplace, shopping.


  • relationship between justice, law and society

  • legal implications

  • difficulties with enforcing rights

  • future directions

  • the role of law reform


  • explain the difficulties with enforcing rights

Outline the impact that technology has on an individual. Group work on the positive and negative impacts of a particular use of technology (eg CCT cameras reduce shoplifting and decrease privacy).
Class discussion on the implications of the impact of technology and why legal regulation is necessary for both the individual and society.

  • relationship between rights and responsibilities



  • balancing the rights of individuals with the needs of the state

Examples that may be studied could include:

  • misuse of interactive technologies

  • cyber-bullying

  • genetic profiling

  • cyberspace

  • privacy issues

  • security and surveillance

  • mobile phones

  • copyright

  • assess the role of law reform in addressing emerging technological issues and enforcing rights



Case study – the use of DNA and the law

Teacher models case study. (Students will later research and present another case study)

Areas to consider:


  • the uses of DNA, eg for identifying victims; paternity; medical problems; and identifying offenders.

  • issues associated with the use of DNA, eg DNA in criminal law

  • evidence and admissibility in court (Crimes (Forensic Procedures) Act 2000 (NSW))


  • potential over-reliance by police and courts on DNA testing

  • lack of equal access to forensic testing for the defence in criminal proceedings

  • possibility of mistakes and the danger associated with acceptance of DNA testing as infallible by juries

  • the role of the law in regulating technology




  • the effectiveness of legal mechanisms for achieving justice for individuals and society







  • discuss the legal implications of the use of technology and its impact on the individual




  • testing a community to identify a guilty party, thereby overturning the presumption of innocence (R v Boney (unreported, Moree District Court, 20 October 2000) Wee Waa sexual assault case in which the men of the community volunteered for testing)

  • use of DNA by the state to prove guilt rather than innocence, R v Button [2001] QCA 133 where the prosecution withheld DNA evidence

  • DNA databases, eg the National Criminal Investigation DNA Database (NCIDD)

  • application to past crimes

  • establishing the innocence of those wrongly convicted (eg death row inmates in the US). Note the establishment of an Innocence Panel to consider applications by prisoners in NSW

  • privacy and discrimination issues
  • questions of paternity – confidentiality, consent, counselling (Family Law Regulations 1984 (Cth) and state court orders)











Resources: ‘Forensic sciences from the judicial perspective’, Justice Wood, 2002, www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink –> Supreme Court –> Speeches.

Council of Civil Liberties, www.nswccl.org.au.

‘The Peter Falconio Investigation: Needles, Hay and DNA’, Current Issues in Criminal Justice, No. 18, Issue 3, March 2007.

www.biotechnologyonline.gov.au/human/dnaprofile.cfm (also includes online investigation games).
This section provides an opportunity to integrate Part III – Law in practice through study of a case such as the Peter Falconio case. This could be developed as a webquest with links to case material through Austlii (The Queen v Murdoch [2005] NTSC 77 and Murdoch v The Queen [2007] NTCCA 1); the Australian Legal Aid Commission article titled ‘Harmonisation of forensic procedures legislation’; and media articles from the time. Examine the legal and non-legal responses to the issue and evaluate the effectiveness of the law in this matter. Link this to a consideration of the broader issues associated with the use of DNA and the criminal law.
Summative activity: Discussion and note-making – assess the role of law reform in addressing the issues associated with the use of DNA. Include a discussion of whether the needs of the state should be given priority over the needs of the individual.

Student research (possible assessment task or to integrate Part III) – investigate another area of technology. Students should examine the legal implications and regulation of the technology and the role of law reform, and evaluate the effectiveness of the law in achieving justice for individuals and society.




  • balancing the rights of individuals with the needs of the state




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