The Business School



One with the most correct answers wins a Freddo!


  • Use your general knowledge first and then use whatever resources you like to find the answers.   (I will collect them next session – no copying!)


1.         What do you understand by the word ‘law’?  Are staff manuals AND rules ‘law’?

2.         Name at least three functions of ‘law’ ie what is its role in society?  (important to know so we understand why we have the laws we have and why they might change)

3.         What competing factors does the law have to reconcile (or put another way – what factors influence legislators/governments when they make law)?  Name three.

4.         Which are ‘law’ from the following?  (more than one could be)

(a)       principles decided in courts of law;

(b)       acts passed by Parliaments;

(c)        regulations or statutory rules made by Ministers;

(d)       standards promulgated by Standards Australia;

(e)       codes of conduct

5.         The following are the sources of law (ie where you find the law)– can you explain what they mean and give an example of each.

            (a)       Statutes (also called Acts)

            (b)       Regulations

            (c)        Common Law

            (d)       Equity Law

            (f)        International law

6.         Laws can be classified in a number of ways.  What do the following mean and can you give an example? 

            (a)       enacted

            (b)       common

            (c)        civil

            (d)       criminal         

            (e)       substantive law

            (f)        procedural law

            (g)       private

            (h)       public

7.         What is a ‘Bill’?

8.         What, if any, is the difference between an ‘Act’, a ‘Statute’, and a ‘Regulation’?

9.         Australia is a ‘federation’ – what does this mean?  How does it affect decision-makers?

10.       What is in the Commonwealth Constitution?  How does it affect decision-makers?

11.       There is a constitutional principle that the legislative, the executive and the judiciary should be separate.

            (a)       This is called the ‘division of powers’:  True/False

            (b)       What is the role of each of these three bodies?

(c)        Why it is considered these bodies should be separate?

12.       Can you list the courts in the Victorian Court hierarchy and what types of cases they can hear/decide?  (a useful source of information is

13.       What is the purpose/use of having a hierarchy of courts?

14.       What sorts of law cases or disputes are heard by the High Court of Australia?  ie what is the ‘jurisdiction’ of the High Court?  (a useful source of information is

15.       A civil law can only be made by judges.  True/False

16.       A criminal law can only be made by a Parliament.  True/False

17.       When a dispute goes to court the legal representatives will bring forward earlier cases which may be similar:

  •  what are these earlier cases called?  The word starts with p………….. 
  • When will these earlier cases have to be followed (i.e. when they are binding) and when will they only be persuasive?

18.       Assume the Appeal Court of the Supreme Court of NSW has made a decision about the wording of the NSW OH&S Act. 

(a)       If the same facts are in dispute in the Victorian Supreme Court, and a similar section in the Victorian OH&S Act is in dispute, the Victorian Supreme Court has to follow the decision of the NSW Appeal Court because it is higher in the Court hierarchy.   True/False

(b)       If the same facts and Act are in dispute in the NSW Supreme Court, the NSW Supreme Court has to follow the Appeal Court’s decision even if it is 20 years old and there is some doubt it is still correct.  True/False

19.       Often the wording in legislation is not clear.  When this is the case (choose from the following (more than one may be correct)):

(a)       the judges are free to give it their own interpretation to do justice as much as they can

(b)       the judge must check if the legislation has defined the ambiguous word/s

(c)        if the legislation does not define the word, the judge can look up the definition of the word in a dictionary and give it that meaning

(d)       the judge looks at what the purpose of the legislation was and tries to give the ambiguous words a meaning that will achieve that purpose.

20.       When courts have to interpret the words of legislation, they use some rules as guidelines.  What do they do if they use the:

            (a)       Literal Rule

            (b)       Golden Rule

            (c)        Mischief Rule or Purpose Approach?

21.       The differences between the civil and criminal law are:

(a)       There are different outcomes for the alleged wrongdoer.  True/false

(b)       Offences in both have to be proven ‘beyond reasonable doubt’  True/false

(c)        In both, there is a prosecutor.  True/false

(d)       In both it is the individual citizen who commences the action.  True/false

(e)       Both are to do with compensating victims.  True/false

22.       There are various ways disputes can be resolved.  Briefly, what is the process used in:

            (a)       an adversary system

            (b)       conciliation

            (c)        mediation

            (d)       arbitration

23.       As well as the formal courts, we also have tribunals:

  •  what is the difference between ‘courts’ and ‘tribunals’? 
  •  Can you list some relevant tribunals? 
  • What are the advantages/disadvantages of tribunals compared to courts?
  • Give three reasons why governments enact legislation.

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