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Legal Studies Cheat Sheet by

Terms and Descriptions for legal studies. Mostly for my own use, may not apply for all. Australian terms are used.

Court Hierachy

-Hears all criminal cases after somebody is charged
-Deter­mines which court will hear the case
-If the case cannot be dealt with by Magist­rates, the offender will be moved to District court.

A magistrate is an officer in court who can make legal decisions for minor offences.

Lawyers will often aim for a settlement before going to court for a trial.

The Basics

How Does a Law Get Made?
Starts as a bill>gets voted on by house of reps>goes to senate­>is voted on again by senate­>go­vernor genera­l>act of parlia­men­t>law

What is the definition of the word Law?
A law is defined as a formal rule to determine how people and organi­sations are expected to behave.

Laws can also receive amendments to improve an existing piece of legisl­ation.

amendment-a formal or official change made to a law, consti­tution or other legal document

Court Hierachy

District Court
-Deals with more serious crimin­al/­civil offences the magist­rates court can't rule on
-Is the first level of court to involve a jury on the decision making process

Anybody after an appeal from a magist­rates court decision can move up to this court.

Appeal-a request to rehear or retry a case

Criminal & Civil Law

Criminal Law
Civil Law
a driect result of a law being broken, usually punishable by jail time. Much more difficult to prove by just eviden­ce.(­must have proof of proof)
deals with disputes between people and organi­sations often involving money. The plaintiff can win simply by having more evidence than the defendant.
A civil case can be overruled by 'balance of probab­ili­ties'.

A criminal case must be 'beyond all reasonable doubt'.

Key Terms

Bail- a paid agreement that you will come to court to face charges
BAC- Blood Alcohol Concen­tration
Negligence-a failure to take care in a circum­stance or event
Defamation-where a person's reputation has been damaged by what has been said or written about them
Civil Law- deals with disputes between people­/or­gan­isa­tions involving money
Criminal Law-a direct result of a laws being broken, punishable by jail time
Magistrate-an officer in court who can make legal decisions for minor offences

Key Players In Court

Bailiff-a court official, usually a peace officer or security, who keeps order in the courtroom and handles errands for the judge and clerk.
Legal Clerk-Prepare and summons jury and witness list and swear them in before court procee­dings
Solicitor-lawyer who speaks in court

Key Players In Court

Defendant-an indivi­dual, company, or instit­ution sued or accused in a court of law.
Accused-a person or group of people who are charged with or on trial for a crime.
Plaintiff-person who initiates the lawsuit, who then becomes the prosecutor
Barrister-Lawyer who speaks in court
Witnesses-Provides evidence by answering questions
Jury-a randomly selected group of citizens from an electoral roll who decided whether or not someone is guilty based on the facts of the case.

Driving Laws

The max demerit points you can lose on your L's,P1­'s,­P2'­s,o­pen­s:4­,4,4,12
If you are caught drink driving you must go to court, and your license will be immedi­ately disqua­lified for 24 hours.
The following drivers must have a BAC of 0.00: Profes­sional Drivers, anyone not on an open license
If you are caught drink driving on your learners,license is disqua­lified for 3-9 months, and can be fined up to $2012
If BAC is over 0.05 but under 0.10;l­icense is disqua­lified for 1-9 months, and can be fined up to $2012
If BAC is over 0.10 but under 0.15;l­icense disqua­lified for 3-12 months,can be fined $2875
If BAC is 0.15 and over;l­icense disqua­lified minimum 6 months, can be fined up to $4025


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