POLITICS AND LAW EXAM NOTES
· The right of citizens to freely express their opinions without fear of persecution.
· The representation of a diversity of views in an uncensored media.
· That all citizens are entitled to associate to express their political opinions in organisations such as unions and political parties.
· That citizens are free from persecution on the basis of their religion, cultural or sexual preferences.
· That all citizens are entitled to the protection of the rule of law.
· Rule of law: the principle that all individuals are equal before the law. It asserts that laws must be based on consent, involve consistent and accepted procedures, and apply to all the actions of government as well as the actions of individuals.
· Parliaments- governments that represent the people.
· Governments that represent the majority of the community.
· Free and fair elections
· Electoral systems that do not discriminate against citizens. I.e./ ‘one vote-one value’
· Open and impartial court system that is independent of influence.
· Includes laws that do not persecute or oppress democratic or minority opinions.
· Institutions that promote the accountability and scrutiny of all governments and their agencies.
Two most important principles of democracy
· Accountability: is the requirement that all public officials, both elected and appointed, should be directly or indirectly answerable to the people.
· Political rights- right to free speech and the right of association (the right to form groups for any legal activity) as well as the existence of a free media. Also includes the right to dissent and protest against government policies.
· Legal rights- all people seeking justice within the court system are to be treated equally and the legal process should not be biased or prejudiced against any individual or group in society.
Fundamentals of Government
· A government is the body within a society that has the authority to make laws and to provide public programs. It includes institutions like parliament and the courts, and people such as politicians, judges and public servants.
· GOOD government is an essential basis of a good society- a society in which people can live full and meaningful lives. I.e. safely, educated, healthy, control pollution, taken care of (centrelink), solve disputes.
· Criteria- democratic, representing all backgrounds and interests of their citizens
· Participatory- people involved
· Accountable- leaders can be dismissed
· Rights- Peoples freedoms should be protected.
· Traditional roles:
· Safe environment- internal and external security
· Settlement of disputes- courts were established to solve criminal offences and civil disputes
· Public goods and services- economic products that are consumed collectively, like highways, sanitation, schools, national defence, police and fire protection.
· Economic management- the management...