- Care and compassion
expectations and goals
- Students to understand the different categories and levels of law in Australia
- Students are to understand and recognise the difference between and need for, criminal and civil laws
- Ask students to think about the words ‘law’ and ‘rule’. What makes them the same and/or different?Law: Is made by the government and affects everybody in society (eg do not kill other people).
Rules: Made by a group and affect only people in that group (eg you must be in bed by 8.30pm – family rules).
- Hold a class brainstorm to come up with as many laws and rules that the students know. Display these laws and rules on the board.
- Organise the class into small groups. Ask each group to use a coloured sticky dot to indicate their opinion of the most important rule or law (alternatively conduct a gallery walk).
- Meet as a community circle to discuss which rule or law got the most votes and why.
- Explore the sources of law in Australia by asking if students know the correct names for them.
- Provide students with access to Match the laws (Resource 17 below) and ask them to complete. Facilitate a debate with the class on the topic: ‘Do we need laws?’ Organise the class into two teams. One team will agree with the statement; the other will disagree. Ensure issues of rights, responsibilities, consequences, fairness, equity and considered in the debate.
- Ask students to investigate, using laws of local relevance, how a law is made in Australia through parliament (statute law) and through the courts (common law).
- Ask students to compare and explain the difference between criminal law and civil law.
- As a whole class, examine and discuss the nature of customary law in Australia including; how it contrasts with European law and, how customary law is used in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia.
- Invite students to think about Australian Aboriginal laws. What laws might Aboriginal people have that are made for the good of society? For example:
- You shouldn’t enter someone else’s land without first getting permission (trespass).
- You can’t marry your brother or sister (marriage laws).
- You should look after your country (the environment) and everything in it.
- You should respect your elders.
- You should share things with your family.
- Provide students with Law in the media (Resource 18 below) and ask them to find two news articles that display two different types of law and complete the research table.
- What is the difference between civic law and criminal law?
- Where does Crime Stoppers fit in this continuum? Explain why?
- What is the difference between a rule and a law?
- What are the different sources of law used in Australia?
- Do we need rules and laws?
- Complete Law in the media (Resource 18)
download resources and tools
Printable lesson plan [Download Year 8, Lesson 7 plan]
Resource 17: Match the laws [Download Resource 17]
Resource 18: Law in the media [Download Resource 18]