Australian Legal System

Complete 10 pages APA formatted article: Australian Legal System. The statute is made by the legislation while the common law follows the doctrine of precedence which is borrowed from a Latin phrase stare decisis which translates to “the decision says” or simply the rule made by previous judges. The doctrine of precedence is not constituted so much on the ideal decision made but rather the principles that guided the arrival to that decision. (Gilford and Gilfford, 1983,p5). As pointed out, not all law follows precedence and this is where statute law comes in the legislation allows for codification so that common law may be altered to set new precedence and also suit with the current needs of the community.

The Australian court system is categorized into 3 distinct courts namely the high court (supreme courts) the county courts and the magistrate courts. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land and has jurisdictions to listen to cases of appeal and also handle cases of high profile say constitutional challenges and interpretation. The magistrate courts are the lowest courts and handle civil and criminal cases of lighter nature. Given the fact that the doctrine of precedence prevails in the Australian court system, the magistrate and distinct courts are bound to follow rulings of the higher court where two cases are similar in fact and circumstance. This means that a lower court cannot be able to overrule precedence. On the other hand, the high court has the jurisdiction to overhaul the previous precedence if it feels that it is outdated and therefore set a new precedence.

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Common law has its strengths and weaknesses. For example, it has the advantage of setting a pattern of handling disputes hence one may be in a position to predetermine a court ruling just by studying previous rulings. As noted, any law should have consistency and common law provides for this. In the instance where no similar case has been handled before, common law gives room to set precedence. It also assists judges to arrive at a decision faster and hence save time and acquire sound mind since the previous reasoning used by judges is at the center of common law.&nbsp.

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