Fairness and Justice in the Australian Legal System

1270 Words Jun 23rd, 2018 6 Pages
The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary defines fairness to be ‘the quality of treating people equally or in a way that is reasonable’ and justice as ‘the quality of being fair or reasonable’ (Oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com, 2014). Investigation of the characteristics of the Australian Legal System (ALS) including its adoption, structure and operational rules, reveal that for the most part the system is based on these two attributes. This inference is further evidenced by the legally binding operational framework assigned to the financial services industry and reflected in the codes of practice that also guide it.

While no system is completely perfect the ALS is designed with the aim to provide fairness and justice. To this extent,
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27). By following this doctrine of precedent, stare decisis, judges are bound to follow the ratio decidendi, the reasons given, for the rulings in previous cases from higher up in their jurisdictional hierarchy. Rulings from other jurisdictions can also be used as persuasive force and argument, as can the obiter dicta, the judges’ comments other than those given as the reason for the ruling. In this way Judge made law resolves conflict and injustice by ruling consistently with rulings made in previous, characteristically similar cases. An inconsistent approach to similar situations cannot equate to being fair, just or equitable. In this way the ALS is not biased or prejudice, is applied equally to all, and ensures that the law is based on fairness and justice.

The ALS, based on fairness and justice and following the rule of law, means that the legal framework is predictable and applies equally to all (Sweeney and O'reilly et al., 2013 pp 4-5). Within the financial services industry the predictability provided by such a system aids in the management of risk and uncertainty. Legislative instruments developed under parliamentary law have clarified the operating practices of the financial services industry ensuring fairer treatment for all involved and encouraging greater confidence in the industry. Several regulatory, statutory bodies
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