Interactions of Laws in Australia

Institution Affiliation



There are two main types of law in Australia, which are the case law, commonly known as common law and the legislation law, also widely known as statute law. Case law systems are based on superiority in that judicial verdicts are decided on a case-by-case basis. They are based on the judgments of judges in superior courts. A case that has similar settings to a prior court ruling is decided in the same way. However, statute law is made by the parliament. Nevertheless, there is an interaction between the statute law and the case law. These sources of law barley exist independently of each other; instead, they are both under one integrated system of laws, which are under the constitution. For this reason, they interact indirectly and directly.

As much as these two laws interact with each other, the case law prevails under the statutes law. Statute laws are interpreted in line with case law principles of interpretation as modified or appended by interpretation statutes (Giancaspro, 2017). On the other hand, the “principle of legality” makes sure that the statutes do not informally eliminate some universal law rights.

A  statute may confirm or exclude the operation of the case law upon a subject or use as a figure for its operation of an expression or a term with gratified given to it by the case law. Initially, contract law, property law and tort law are absent in statutory in Australia but are rooted in the case law (Png, 2017). Nonetheless, particular issues such as the international sale of products in contract law will be administrated by statutory law. In such a case, the jury has to research past superiority and statutory to make a verdict about a particular case. In other words, the judgment will be decided on the grounds of superiority while following statutory law.

Statutory laws provide overall, broad statements of policy, conversely case law puts the policy provided by the legislative into practice and describe its limits. In other words, the case law is essential to interpret statute law. Most of the times a law can fail to describe essential terms or can be vague. The case law comes in here and expand on the precise definition of statute law and precisely define terms (Thirlway, 2014). For instance, tort law may be absent in statute but state all the damages that are complainant can get from a defendant. Case law permits wronged parties to sue lost wages, medical expenses pain and suffering even if such cases are unclearly stated in statute law.

The interplay of these two kinds of law in Australia is very significant as far as court decisions are concerned. In cases especially where tort law and contract law are involved, the relation of case law and statutory is precious (Thirlway, 2014). Although the case operates under the statutory laws, it further explains the definition of the statutory law and define the exact terms. In the interrelationship of the two laws, common law is critical because it eliminates other interpretation or bias of the law by jury.   



Giancaspro, M. (2017). Is a ‘smart contract’ really a smart idea? Insights from a legal perspective. Computer Law & Security Review, 33(6), 825-835. doi:10.1016/j.clsr.2017.05.007

Png, I. P. (2017). Law and Innovation: Evidence from State Trade Secrets Laws. Review of Economics and Statistics, 99(1), 167-179. doi:10.1162/rest_a_00532

Thirlway, H. (2014). The Sources of International Law. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.


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