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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

Video

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 ...

Video

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 ...

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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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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.

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.

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.

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 ...

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.

Video

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 ...

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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.

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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Voting in Australia

The representatives elected to federal Parliament make decisions that affect many aspects of Australian life including tax, marriage, the environment, trade and immigration. This 28 page PDF document explains the history of Australia’s electoral system and how it works, Australia’s system of government and the role citizens ...

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Ministers and shadow ministers

This fact sheet investigates the work of ministers (members of the Australian Government with special responsibilities) and shadow ministers (members of the opposition who closely examine the work of the government).

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Australian Constitution online

Browse the complete text of the Australian Constitution with this easy-to use website. It includes a detailed overview by the Australian Government Solicitor and a 2:26 min video snapshot about the Constitution and its role in the governance of the Australian nation.

Video

Get involved

Explore the ways ordinary Australians can get involved in the work of Parliament with this short video (6:25 min). Find out how you can get informed about the work of the Parliament, the role of petitioning and ways to participate in parliamentary inquiries.

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Government

This fact sheet explores the role and functions of the Australian Government, including who is in the government, how it is formed, minority government and the principle of responsible government.

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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 ...

Interactive

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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Three levels of government: governing Australia

In Australia the three levels of government work together to provide us with the services we need. This webpage provides a detailed explanation of the roles and responsibilities of each level, how they raise money and how they work together. Case studies show how the powers of the Australian Parliament have expanded.