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Title: Australia: a land of plenty (of legislative regimes)
Contributor(s): Burns, Kylie (author); Loughnan, Arlie (author); Lunney, Mark  (author)orcid ; Willis, Sonya (author)
Publication Date: 2015
DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781139946285.011
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Abstract: Australia is a common law-based federation of states and territories that derived its legal system from England. Australia has no national Bill of Rights but its federal constitution grants specific powers to the federal government with the remaining powers exercised by each state. Two states have created human rights statutes.1 The federal powers to govern crime and tort are limited to crimes or torts falling within one of a number of narrow federal constitutional heads of power.2 Therefore, most criminal law and tort law is state based and, hence, varies across Australia. On the one hand, each state legislature has ultimate constitutional power to alter the common law through legislation.3 The federal constitution also enables the enforcement throughout Australia of tortious and criminal decisions by state courts.4 On the other hand, the High Court of Australia is the ultimate arbiter of the common law of Australia as applicable in each state. The common law system of precedent applicable in Australia thus enables the High Court to bring significant uniformity to tort and crime law in Australia albeit constricted by potentially conflicting state legislation. During the past few decades, statute-based law has proliferated in Australia in many areas including both the criminal and tort spheres.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Comparing Tort and Crime : Learning from across and within Legal Systems, p. 367-415
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Place of Publication: Cambridge, United Kingdom
ISBN: 9781107080485
Field of Research (FOR): 180110 Criminal Law and Procedure
180126 Tort Law
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 949999 Law, Politics and Community Services not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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