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Legal Review Questions

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Introduction

Legal Review Questions 1. To what extent is law influenced by the society in which it operates? It is influenced quite heavily as there are many contributing factors that can alter which laws come into place under the jurisdiction. The following outlines what affects the law in regards to societal expectations: * Social: All moral, ethical, intellectual and cultural teachings. * Cultural: A person's moral basis. * Political: Reflection of political structures. * Economical: Economic powers creating equality. * Morality: Peoples understanding of the law. All these factors play a major role in the creating and alteration of the law and its components. In order to create a just and moral society a government must incorporate all of these factors in order to maintain it. 2. What characterize a just law? A just law has a number of widely recognized characteristics. A just law is characterized by the following: * Treats all people equally: The notion of equality is an important aspect of the law. ...read more.

Middle

* It takes into account of limitations in material resources. * It can be invoked without undue delay: A just law should deal with a legal problem or dispute as soon as practicable after that problem or dispute arises. This is because people's memories fade and so their evidence becomes less reliable as time passes. However this is not always the case, as currently the Australian legal system has lengthy delays and cases take long periods of time to reach the courts. 3. Does formal equality before the law hide institutionalized inequality? Formal equality is the equal treatment of all people (in certain defined circumstances) despite background, social/economic status or personal beliefs. However formal equality does not however ensure equality of outcome or the prevention of institutionalised inequality. Treating each person exactly the same is fair in that each person is receiving equal treatment regardless of their background etc...however the outcome of this may not be fair or equal. ...read more.

Conclusion

Not allowing socioeconomic status to be recognised means that the defendant fails to receive an equal trial to that of the prosecution or plaintiff. Similarly, someone who has received little education, or has language difficulties (under formal equality) is treated equally as they are treated like everyone else, however, they are disadvantaged in that they may not understand the proceedings or be ignorant of the law, not taking this into consideration under formal equality means that equality of outcome and opportunity have not been met. This concept was explored by Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC)'s Equality before the law reports (ALRC 67 and ALRC 69 Parts I and II) where it quotes "Equality before the law means more than merely formal equality or equal treatment. True equality requires a legal system in which women's needs and experience are understood. Law cannot work in a vacuum. The above must take account of the social, economic and political environment in which women live if equality before the law is to exist" highlighting that formal equality is not the only form of equality and does not ensure equality before the law. ...read more.

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