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Module 1: How and why the law changes

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Examples of Factors causing Changes in the Law

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Legal Studies - Examples of Factors causing Changes in the Law

Examples of Factors causing Changes in the Law

Government party policy

* agreed change to tax laws to introduce GST from 2000

* changes to gun laws:_ Firearms (Amendment) Act 1996_ (Vic.)

Government departments

* introduction of tax file numbers in 1988-89

Private members' bills

* _Euthanasia Laws Act 1997_ (Commonwealth) - the Andrews Bill repealing
the Northern Territory's _Rights of the Terminally Ill Act 1996_.

Law reform commissions

* amendment to penalty for murder in_ Crimes Act 1958_ (Vic.) - from
mandatory life imprisonment to a maximum of life imprisonment

Royal commissions/inquiries

* creation of National Crime Authority (NCA) to investigate organised
crime arising out of the recommendations of the Costigan Royal Commission
1980-84

Statutory authorities

* Victorian Board of Studies: changes to VCE from 2000

Local councils

* initiate changes to law in range of local matters

Pressure groups

* generated pressure for the amendment to heritage law proclaiming the
Franklin Dam area as a world heritage site (_World Heritage Properties
Conservation Act 1983_) and the Tasmanian Dams Case before the High Court
in July 1983

Public opinion

* the amendments produced by the_ Family Law Reform Act 1997_
(Commonwealth) concerning the more effective operation of the original Act

In addition, there are a variety of _methods_ used by the above factors,
people, groups and organisations to assist in generating pressure for
change including:

submissions to parliament
lobbying of politicians

protests and demonstrations
media coverage

test cases
industrial action

joining or starting a political party
defiance of the law

petitions
private members' bills

As with the above factors, these methods enjoy varying degrees of success
depending upon the political response from the government or parliament of
the day.

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