Assessment 1 Part B
(i) Under Chapter 8, Section 128 of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act, the constitution shall not be altered, except in the following manner:
- the proposed law must be passed by an absolute majority in both houses of Parliament;
- the proposal is then put to a referendum of all Australian voters (including States and Territories);
- the referendum is approved by a double-majority (this means that not only do more than 50% of Australian voters accept the proposal, but that the majority of the States accept the proposal – at least 4 of the 6 States).
- The Governor General approves the amendment to the Constitution.
In the 1999 Referendum proposing to make Australia a republic, a little more than 95% of Australians cast their ballot, but the proposal obtained no majority in any of the 6 states.
(ii) As a Judge in the Supreme Court of NSW you are required to follow the doctrine of precedent (stare decisis) if the case you are hearing is identical or similar to another case that was previously heard by a superior court in the same hierarchy.
In this instance, a NSW Supreme Court Judge is bound by the High Court.
(iii) Concurrent law-making powers are those where there is a shared power to legislate between the Commonwealth government and the states. Examples of Concurrent powers within the Australian Constitution, under Section 51, include Tax (where the Federal Government can tax it’s citizens, and the State Government can tax it’s residents) and the power to legislate on industrial relation matters.
Under Section 109 of the Constitution, where there is an inconsistency, or a conflict, between State and Federal Acts, the Federal Act (or Commonwealth law) must be followed.
(iv) a) Under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, State courts and tribunals have the authority to hear consumer protection disputes in their jurisdiction. In the case of a dispute involving the sum of $100,000 within NSW, the...