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Civics and citizenship / Year 8 / Civics and Citizenship Knowledge and Understanding / Laws and citizens

View on Australian Curriculum website Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
Curriculum content descriptions

How laws are made in Australia through parliaments (statutory law) and through the courts (common law) (ACHCK063)

Elaborations
  • comparing some examples of statutes and common laws and the way they are made and outlining the hierarchy of these different types of laws (for example, that statutes will override the common law)
  • distinguishing statutory and common law from executive law (delegated law) and identifying how the Houses of Parliament can disallow delegated legislation
  • discussing examples of recent laws passed through parliaments that enact government policy
General capabilities
  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking
  • Personal and social capability Personal and social capability
  • Ethical understanding Ethical understanding
ScOT terms

Legislation,  Acts of Parliament,  Bills of Parliament,  Common law,  Legal precedent

Online

Make a law: House of Representatives

Discover how bills—proposed laws—are introduced, debated and voted on in the House of Representatives by turning your class into a Parliament and doing it yourself! This lesson plan outlines the steps to run a role play in the classroom and includes a video illustrating the process, teacher notes, class preparation and ...

Video

Making a law

Get an introduction to the law-making process of the Australian Parliament with this short video. It includes all the law-making steps in the Senate and House of Representatives.

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The rules that guide the House of Representatives

Annabel Crabb explains some of the rules that guide the House of Representatives – also known as the Lower House – where Members of Parliament argue about and vote on new laws for Australia. Why would a politician hold paper over his or her head when speaking in the Lower House? What happens when all the clocks in the building ...

Online

Make a law: Senate

Discover how bills—proposed laws—are introduced, debated and voted on in the Senate by turning your class into a Parliament and doing it yourself! This lesson plan outlines the steps to run a role play in the classroom and includes a video illustrating the process, teacher notes, class preparation and plans for making the ...

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Year 8: democracy and law in action

This collection of resource sheets for students and teachers support investigations of the types of law in Australian and how laws are made through parliament and the courts. Activities introduce the concept of customary law and different perspectives about Australia's national identity. The resources are designed to provide ...

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Writing amendments in the Senate

The Senate’s job is to "check the work" of the House of Representatives and make sure the laws they’ve made are fair. But what happens when the Senate and the House of Representatives disagree? Annabel Crabb explains the process of writing and approving amendments; the rituals of official business; and how the Lamson tube works.

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Secrets of the Parliament House building

Annabel Crabb takes us on a tour of Parliament House in Canberra, explaining why her favourite parts are at the very top and the very bottom of the building. Navigate 10 kilometres of hallways, witness the "best view in Canberra", meet the Queen of the Underground and find out how to change the 12-meter flags. What unexpected ...

Online

Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum Year 8 unit of work

The activities and assessments in the unit will help develop students’ understanding of how citizens can participate in a democratic society and the different types of law.

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The first day as a Member of Parliament

Parliament House is a lot like a school: bells are going off the whole time, there are lots of difficult subjects to get on top of and you get in trouble if you’re late! Annabel Crabb joins Linda Burney, the first Indigenous woman to be elected to the House of Representatives, who is preparing to give her very first speech ...

Interactive

Quizzes

Test your students with these quizzes about the Australian Parliament. Topics include the three levels of government, separation of powers and the Australian Constitution.

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Making a law in the Australian Parliament

This fact sheet explains the law-making process in the Australian Parliament. It also describes where ideas for laws come from and the history of law-making in the Parliament.

Video

Snapshots - passing a bill

This is a video of a bill being passed through the Australian Parliament. The video shows teachers and students how a law is made and details the law-making process in the Australian Parliament. It is supported with a diagram that illustrates the process and a downloadable fact sheet.

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Difference Differently: who can be Australian?

This is a resource with three related sets of student activities that explore the evolution of Australian government policies regarding citizenship and immigration since 1901. It uses historical source material to explore the 'White Australia policy' and case studies about individuals and citizenship. It also examines how ...

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Australian Constitution in focus

The Australian Constitution is the legal framework for how Australia is governed. This article explores in detail the history of the Constitution, its key features and the High Court’s role in interpreting it. The page describes processes for amending the Constitution including through referendum as well as two case studies ...

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Handwritten Chinese notice about gold fields mining legislation, 1873

This is a handwritten notice, the body of which is in Chinese characters, informing Chinese miners about the 'Gold Fields Regulations' and 'Gold Fields Act'. The notice is 15 columns wide with approximately 25 characters running down each column. Below the heading, in smaller script, is written 'By Order / of the Commissioner ...

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Suffragette cartoon based in a butcher shop, 1900

This cartoon, captioned 'MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB', features the Queensland premier Robert Philp (1851-1922) as a butcher of the 'Democratic Butchering Co'. As he sharpens his knife a small girl approaches bearing the initials WEFA (Women's Equal Franchise Association) on her coat. She leads a lamb with 'A VOTE FOR WOMEN' ...

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Oil painting - opening of first Commonwealth Parliament, 1901

This is a monochrome oil painting by Charles Nuttall, depicting the opening of the first Commonwealth Parliament in the Exhibition Building, Melbourne, on 9 May 1901. The painting is 226 cm high x 405 cm wide, and it has a carved wooden frame with a leaf pattern.

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Difference Differently: differing stories

This is a resource with four related sets of student activities that explore the reasons for and possible responses to racial, cultural or religious discrimination. It explores why people might find difference challenging, personal stories about discrimination, how and why discrimination is used in online environments, ...

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Federal Parliament history timeline

This interactive timeline explores key milestones in the history of Australia's Parliament that led to federation and how the work of Parliament has influenced Australian democratic development since 1901. The timeline allows users to explore the milestones chronologically or follow thematic trails. Selected milestones ...

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Rabbit fence cartoon, 1884

This black-and-white cartoon satirises Queensland parliamentarian John Stevenson's suggestion that a fence be built on the New South Wales border to stop an expected invasion of rabbits. It depicts a low wire fence that four rabbits are using as a tennis net. Other rabbits leap over the fence and hop in the background. ...