Humanities Vocab- Term 2 Politics and Law
Terms in this set (43)
Refers to the minimum number of votes required, which is more than half of all votes, that is, 50 per cent of the total vote plus one, to make a democratic decision by a group.
Refers to involvement and informed participation in the civic and political activities of society at local, state, national, regional and global levels. It contrasts with 'passive citizenship' where citizens participate only minimally to meet their basic individual responsibilities including voting and paying taxes.
Is a system of government grounded in liberal democratic values and a belief in civic engagement. It includes a written constitution, a well‐established representative parliamentary process based on the Westminster system and a constitutional monarch.
Refers to the federal or national government of Australia. Previously known as the Commonwealth Government, it was established by the Australian Constitution at the time of Federation.
The Australian Parliament is bicameral, which means there are two houses. The Senate; is which is also known as the upper house; and the House of Representatives, which is also known as the lower house.
Burden of proof
The legal principle where a duty - or 'burden' - is placed on a party in a court action to prove or disprove disputed facts before the court will make a judgment. It is the threshold that a party seeking to prove a fact in court must reach in order to have that fact legally established; that is, to convince a decision‐maker in a trial (judge; jury) that one's version of the facts is true. (In general, the threshold or level is 'beyond reasonable doubt' in a criminal dispute and 'on the balance of probabilities' for civil disputes).
A person who holds citizenship of an entity, such as a country, and who is a member of a political community which grants certain rights and privileges to its citizens, and in return expects them to act responsibly such as to obey their country's laws.
A legal status granted by birth or naturalisation to citizens involving certain rights (e.g. protection; passport; voting) and responsibilities (e.g. obey the law; voting; defend country). A modern sense incorporates three components: civil (rights and responsibilities); political (participation and representation); and social (social virtues and community involvement). Citizenship is also understood as membership of social, political, national or community groups that carries with it rights and responsibilities, and duties and privileges, and is guided by social virtues and encourages active participation.
The identifiable body of knowledge, skills and understandings relating to the organisation and working of society. It refers to a nation's political and social heritage, democratic processes, government, public administration and legal system.
Deals with non‐criminal matters. It allows an individual to bring actions against other members of the public.
A body of English law traditionally based on custom and court decisions. Also known as case law or precedent, it is law developed by judges through decisions of courts.
Unwritten rules of political procedure based on traditional, established practices that are widely accepted. Australia's political system has adopted many of the unwritten conventions of the British Westminster system. Conventions may defy the constitution; for example, the procedure for the appointment of Australia's Governor‐General.
Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It regulates the way people behave towards each other and includes the punishment of people who violate these laws.
A system of government based on the people of an entity, that is, 'government by the people'; a form of government where the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected representatives under a free and fair electoral system.
Values that reflect a society's democratic way of life. Respect, equality, fairness and freedom are some examples of Australia's democratic values.
Those who have the right to participate in an election and chose to do so.
Evidence is information and/or data collected to support a hypothesis, an argument or an explanation, or to prove or disprove a conclusion.
The process and rules by which decisions are made and implemented within entities, such as national and state governments, corporations and other organisations.
A body of people who have the authority to control or govern a community, state or country.
The representative of the monarch in the Australian jurisdiction according to the Australian Constitution and so is head of state. Although the constitution grants the governor‐general a wide range of powers, in practice the conventions of the Westminster system are followed so the governor‐general acts, with rare exceptions, only on the advice of the prime minister and government.
The rights that come from being human. That is, the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled, often held to include the right to life and liberty; freedom of thought and expression; and equality before the law.
An individual member of parliament (also known as an independent), who does not belong to any political party.
The quality of being just. The concept of justice is based upon many differing viewpoints but ultimately states that people and society should behave in a way that is fair, equal and balanced for all.
Refers to the system of rules which a particular country or community recognises as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties and sanctions.
The set of laws of a particular country and the way in which they are interpreted and enforced.
An approach to political arrangements that takes the view that the ideal political system should combine majority rule by the people with the protection of the political, legal and social rights of individuals and minority groups.
A political doctrine that derives its meaning from political philosophy, political behaviour and political morality, not from constitutions or other laws. It concerns the authorisation to act in a particular way on a public issue given by the electorate to its representative or government.
Non‐government organisation (NGO)
A group that is organised at a local, national or international level around a common interest and on a non‐ profit, voluntary basis. NGOs operate independently of government mostly, but when funded by government still maintain their independence.
Is an assessment of public opinion by questioning a representative sample, especially as the basis for forecasting the results of voting.
A system of government in which power is in the hands of the people, who exercise that power through elected representatives in parliament. This is based on the idea that parliament has supreme or sovereign power.
The way in which individuals as good citizens take part in and make a contribution to society.
An organisation that represents a group of people with similar political philosophies or ideas. The aim of a political party is to get its members elected to Parliament so that it can hold political power and their ideas can influence the way Australia is governed.
A precedent is a principle established in a previous legal case that is either binding on or persuasive for a court or other tribunal when deciding subsequent cases with similar issues or facts.
A system of voting to rank candidates in order of preference. It is necessary for the winning candidate to achieve an absolute majority (50 per cent of the total vote plus one). If no candidate achieves an absolute majority, the candidate with the fewest number of first preferences is excluded from the count, and his or her votes are distributed among the remaining candidates according to second preferences. This process is continued until one candidate achieves an absolute majority. It is the dominant form of voting in Australian politics (as compared with simple majority systems of voting).
The representation of parties, groups or individuals in a legislature in proportion to the number of votes they receive in an election. In Australia proportional representation describes the way candidates are elected in multi‐member electorates, such as the Senate.
Presumption of innocence
The presumption of innocence imposes on the prosecution the burden of proving the charge and guarantees that no guilt can be presumed until the charge has been proved beyond reasonable doubt.
A system of government in which electors choose representatives to a parliament to make laws on their behalf.
Rights and responsibilities
In Civics and Citizenship refers to the entitlements and obligations that are associated with citizenship. Rights and responsibilities are a cornerstone of modern democracies. While there are many rights a citizen may enjoy (freedom of speech, the right to vote) there are also responsibilities of citizenship (to vote in elections, pay taxes, perform jury service).
Rule of law
The legal principle that decisions by government are made according to established principles and that all citizens are subject to the law and equal before the law. Embedded within the rule of law is the idea that people accept and follow, but also change as needed, laws as agreed by the political process and upheld by independent courts.
Guidelines for behaviour; they are a set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct or procedure within a particular area of activity, for example, school rules; rules of cricket. Rules are usually developed and set by people who have power and authority to create and enforce them.
The concept that all people have the right to fair treatment and equal access to the benefits of society.
A means of formally expressing opinion or choice on an issue or electing a representative. The term is frequently understood in relation to government as a formal expression of preference for a candidate for office or for a proposed resolution of an issue within a parliament.
The process of parliamentary government that evolved in England based on a government from the democratically elected lower house; a mainly ceremonial sovereign/head of state; a head of government who commands a majority in the lower house parliament; an executive/cabinet composed of members of parliament; an independent civil service and the rule of law.
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