• Subject Name : Law

System of Law in Australia

Stare Decisis - it is commonly known as the Doctrine of Precedent. It is basically a common law, which is made by the judges through the judgments. That is why it is also called a judge made law. It refers to rules of law which are established by the decisions of the judges. According to a common law system, the decisions taken in the pat are known as precedents or the Stare Decisis. This Stare Decisis means to stand by the decided matters. It is to applied where a same dispute or case has been decided in the past and a court is required to acknowledge and apply that decision or the reasoning in the present case. It promotes consistency and stability in the legal system. In a common law system, decisions of superior courts are binding on inferior courts. Supreme courts or high courts have the power to depart from precedent and develop new laws where necessary or appropriate, or when faced with unique or new legal issues. In the common-law, courts decide the law which is applicable to a case by interpreting rules, principles , statutes and thus applying the precedents, which have the records of how and why those cases have been decided previously. In common-law, courts follow the doctrine of stare decisis, by help of which the most courts are bound by their own previous decisions held in similar cases, and all lower courts make decisions with respect to the previously decided cases of superior courts.

So, for example, precedents set by the High Court of Australia must be followed by the Supreme Court of New South Wales, the District Court of New South Wales, and the Local Court of New South Wales.

Ratio Decidendi –the ratio decidendi refers to the facts and point on which the case are determined for the judgments. It is said to be the rationale for the decision. It is the main principle on which the whole case is establishes and decides. The process of having a ratio decidendi in a case is to analyze what the court has decided based on the legal points over which the parties fought in the case. Thus , it includes the holding of the cases which allows the future cases to build upon such cases by citing certain precedents. The court must take into consideration the facts of ratio decidendi because these are the main provisions of the point upon which a judge can be able to take a decision favoring the just and equitable justice.

Obiter Dicta – obiter dicta means “by the way”. It means the remarks. Obiter dicta is persuasive in nature and is not binding which is said in the passing. If a court rules that it lacks some kind of jurisdiction to hear in a case or if it dismisses the case on a technicality basis, and it makes th opinions on the case, such things constitutes the term obiter dicta. Other example of obiter dicta occur when a judge makes an aside to provide ideology for the opinion, or makes a thorough exploration of a relevant area of law. Thus obiter dicta is merely a principle over which the judge have he discussion for deciding the particular case. It may not be binding nut it provides the facs and the purpose of deciding a case effectively and evidently.

Court hierarchy – In NSW, the Courts are the system of law in Australia in which they provide a forum for resolution of legal disputes between individuals (including corporate entities), or individuals and the government. Courts are where the application (and sometimes validity) of laws are determine the courts have been categorized as the levels of there are basically two type of laws – Statute Laws and Common laws which are created by these authorities:

  1. Local Court - lower courts located in most major towns and metropolitan centres. Local Court hearings are presided over by judicial officers called magistrates.
  2. District Court - The NSW District Court is established under the District Court Act 1973 and established in regional areas. It is the largest trial court in Australia. The NSW District Court has a wide jurisdiction and is able to hear matters such as of criminal offences, civil cases of debt recovery.
  3. Supreme Court – Each state and territory has a Supreme Court, presided over by a Chief Justice. It is the largest superior court of general jurisdiction in Australia.

Thus all these rules helps in reflecting a policy judgment that in most matters it is more important that the applicable rule of law be settled than that it be settled right. These doctrines are crucial to the system of justice because it ensures predictability of the law and the fairness of adjudication.

Remember, at the center of any academic work, lies clarity and evidence. Should you need further assistance, do look up to our Law Assignment Help

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