REVIEW units 1 -2



REVIEW units 3 -4



REVIEW units 5 -6



REVIEW units 7-8



REVIEW units 9-10



REVIEW units 11 -12




REVIEW units 13-15






Part 1



Laws are rules, regulations and restrictions that apply to all members of society. Laws define how people should behave or conduct themselves, and provide sanctions and deterrents against improper and destructive behaviour. Laws help to organise our societies, maintain order, ensure our safety and prevent infringements of our rights. Without laws, societies would descend into lawlessness, anarchy and violence. In a democratic society, laws are created by representatives of the people (parliaments) and independent judges and magistrates (courts). There are two types of laws: criminal law, which deals with offences against people, property and morality, and civil law, which deals with disputes between different parties.

Where people live together or gather in numbers they usually agree on rules about conduct and procedures. They do this so that the group may better achieve its objectives and to ensure the rights of its individual members are respected and protected. Schools have rules specifically for these purposes, as do social groups such as clubs and sporting teams. Families too might have rules, determined by parents or guardians, to ensure the safety and security of younger members. Society has certain unwritten rules that reflect social and cultural values, such as an expectation that individuals display courtesy and good manners, observe things like queues and keep to the left on escalators.

A law is the highest form of rule and protects individuals by determining what is acceptable behaviour and conduct. Laws are considered a fundamental element of civilised society: maintaining order, ensuring good conduct and protecting the human and civil rights of individuals. Without a system of laws, society would most likely degenerate into disorder and anarchy. Decisions in lawless societies are generally made by individuals or groups who have the strength or power to coerce others. The 1980 Australian movie Mad Max (see picture) was set in a fuel-depleted society where law and order had begun to dissolve, and areas outside the cities were ruled by armed motorcycle gangs, the most powerful of which was headed by the eponymous «Toecutter». Laws exist primarily to halt this descent into chaos, violence and anarchy.

In societies like Australia, which is a liberal democracy, laws are determined by institutions, not by individuals. Collectively, these institutions are considered to represent the state. Even in a society which operates according to the rule of law, much depends on the trust and consent of the people. The population generally accepts the need for laws and obeys them willingly. The state lacks the power and the resources to enforce and uphold laws if large numbers of citizens willfully disobey them. As citizens, we agree to abide by certain rules and surrender our absolute freedoms – and in return our lives and our rights are protected by the state and its laws. The French philosopher Rousseau, who lived in the mid 1700s, described this as the social contract.

The law is fundamentally important – but it is not perfect. The law is only as fair and effective as those who develop, implement and oversee it. Charles Dickens once noted that «the law is an ass» while Martin Luther King correctly observed that «everything that Hitler did in Germany was «legal». The law is not above debate, criticism or challenge. The law must be flexible, receptive to suggested reform and capable of change. As people and society changes, so too must the law.

The rule of law is the principle that every person – regardless of their rank, status or office   is subject to the same laws and the same legal and judicial processes. To put it another way, just as citizens must obey the law, so too must governments. Neither the king, nor the king’s ministers, nor the government’s officials are above the law; no person can ignore or subvert the law or act with arbitrary power. The rule of law is also concerned with the legality of the actions of executive government. It requires the executive government and its agents and agencies – such as the military, the police and security agencies – follow fair procedures and respect the rights of citizens.

The ideal of the rule of law is ancient. It is explained in Aristotle’s Politics (Book III, chapter 16). In England, the idea that the king is also subject to laws of the land has its origin in the Magna Carta of 1215. The signing of the Magna Carta was ground breaking: for the first time in English history a written law curtailed the arbitrary power of a king. That law also extended rights and protections for all Britons, not just the barons who had grievances with the king. Its mythology notwithstanding, the Magna Carta fell considerably short of the rule of law. The original Magna Carta stood for only two months before it was repudiated by King John and annulled by the pope, Innocent III. Although still subject to the law, the king retained the authority to change the law himself.

The rule of law did not become entrenched in the Westminster system of government until the Glorious Revolution of 1688. This was preceded by 85 years of argument between the Stuart monarchs and the parliament and common law jurists (notably Sir Edward Coke) over the divine right of kings, their claim to rule as they please. Under the Bill of Rights passed in 1689, the king was forbidden from suspending or dispensing with laws passed by parliament or imposing taxes without parliamentary consent. He was forbidden from establishing his own courts or acting as a judge himself.

The rule of law is a cornerstone of democratic societies. The rule of law is not enshrined in the Australian Constitution or other legislation, nevertheless it is an important foundation for Australia’s system of government. The principle of the rule of law has been cited in a number of High Court judgements. On January 1st 2001, the centenary of Australia’s Federation, prime minister John Howard was asked what he would nominate as some of the great achievements of the past century. Mr Howard began his reply: «Well I think the maintenance of democracy and the rule of law for 100 years».

There are some anomalies that suggest the rule of law is not fully applied in Australia. One is what lawyers call the «shield of the Crown». This refers to privileges and immunities enjoyed by the Crown, its representatives, officers and agents. Most of the ancient privileges and immunities of the crown have been abolished by various parliaments, however a few privileges and immunities remain, including the principle that legislation does not bind the Crown, except by express words or implication. In plain English, the government can itself ignore legislation unless it contains the statement: «this Act binds the Crown». Another anomaly is the use of privative clauses in Federal and State legislation, which restrict or remove the right of judicial review for decisions of the executive government.  One example of this is the New South Wales Terrorism (Police Powers) Act 2002, which protects some decisions of the State’s police minister from judicial review.

In conclusion, the rule of law is a foundational philosophy or principle that underpins Australia’s system of government. It operates to provide citizens with certainty by clearly identifying the conduct required by the law. It also provides protection by requiring the government to act according to the law. That said, the rule of law is sometimes carried only by convention. It is not defined or protected in the Constitution or other legislation, and its meaning and application is open to interpretation. Though the rule of law is important, there are anomalies where the executive arm of government is exempt from ordinary laws of the land.



1. Sum up the main ides of the text and retell it in Russian.


2. Fill in the missing words from the box into the text below.

systems   areas    underperforming     though    portfolio    meetings

overseeing reforms   cabinet    extensively    with    introduced

deliver     account   government’s


In Westminster 1)________ of government, a minister is a Member of Parliament responsible for managing and overseeing an important area, such as health, education, transport, defence or water. These 2)________ are known as portfolios and they are usually allocated to MPs by the prime minister or premier. Occasionally they may reallocate ministerial portfolios in a reshuffle, allowing him/her to replace 3)________ ministers, retire long-serving ministers and promote new MPs. Ministers can belong to either House of Parliament, 4)________ most come from the lower house where the government is formed. Ministers are often high profile, frequently appearing in the media or in public to announce or discuss matters related to their 5)________. They may also attract criticism for errors, incompetence or scandals within their portfolio; occasionally ministers are forced to resign because of this, an example of responsible government in action. Most ministers also participate in cabinet 6)________ and decisions (some junior ministers are not involved).

Ministers are influential and important figures when it comes to law-making. They are responsible for 7)________ legislation, regulations and the operation of organisations involved in their portfolio, such as government departments and statutory authorities. Although most important law 8)________ are discussed and approved at 9)________ level, the minister is ultimately responsible for overseeing new legislation in his or her portfolio area. The minister and his/her office are heavily involved in research, consultation and drafting of new bills. The minister may communicate 10)________ law reform bodies, parliamentary committees experts, pressure groups, lobbyists and other consultants. Ministers may also be involved in the drafting of bills, working closely with parliamentary counsel. When government bills are 11)________ into the parliament, it is almost always the relevant minister who does this. Ministers 12)________ the Second Reading speech to the house, explaining the purpose of the bill and information about its content. Ministers may also be called to 13)________ if there are criticisms of new legislation. In 2010 Peter Garrett, Federal Minister for the Environment, sustained strong criticism over the 14)________ insulation subsidy scheme, following the deaths of four workers.


3. Read the following article and make a rendering.


Теперь давайте выясним, что такое закон и какое он имеет отношение к праву?

Определение. До этого, как это принято в обыденной речи, я называл законами все нормативные акты, которыми регулируется наша жизнь. Но в строгом юридическом смысле это было не верно. Законом называется нормативно-правовой акт (т.е. обязательное для неопределенного круга лиц письменное решение), принимаемый по специальным правилам законодательным (представительным) органом власти Российской Федерации или субъекта федерации, регулирующий наиболее важные вопросы нашей жизни и обладающий после Конституции РФ высшей юридической силой.

А теперь попробуем в этом разобраться.

Законодательные органы власти –  это органы, специально созданные, чтобы принимать законы, а поскольку все они избирается народом и, следовательно, представляют его интересы, они также называются представительными органами. К ним относятся Федеральное собрание РФ, которое состоит из Государственной думы РФ (нижняя палата) и Совета Федерации РФ (верхняя палата), Московская городская Дума, Законодательное собрание Краснодарского края и т.д.

Юридическая сила нормативного акта –  это его способность действовать в случае противоречия другому акту. Законы обладают высшей юридической силой и действуют всегда (кроме случаев, когда они противоречат Конституции или законам более высокого уровня, например, законы субъекта федерации противоречат федеральному закону). Нормативные акты, противоречащие законам, не применяются. Правда, законы тоже бывают разных видов, и каждый из них имеет свою юридическую силу.

Пример. А вот что бывает, когда нормативные акты, имеющие разную юридическую силу, противоречат друг другу.

Гражданин Минин В.Ю. обратился в Верховный суд РФ с требованием о признании незаконным пункта 41 Правил сдачи квалификационных экзаменов и выдачи водительских удостоверений, утвержденных постановлением Правительства РФ от 8 июля 1997 г. № 831.

Давайте прочитаем этот пункт:

Правила сдачи квалификационных экзаменов и выдачи водительских удостоверений

Пункт 41

Выдача водительского удостоверения взамен утраченного (похищенного), а также временного документа, предусмотренного в пункте 40 настоящих Правил, производится после сдачи заявителем экзаменов.

Верховный суд признал его незаконным, т.к. статьей 28 Федерального закона «О безопасности дорожного движения» от 10 декабря 1995 г. № 196-ФЗ установлено, что право на управление транспортными средствами прекращается в случаях:

1) Истечения срока действия водительского удостоверения.

2) Ухудшения здоровья водителя, препятствующее безопасному управлению транспортными средствами, подтвержденное медицинским заключением.

3) Лишения права на управление транспортными средствами.

Далее в решении Верховного суда говорится, что перечень оснований для лишения права на управление является исчерпывающим, т.е. к нему уже нельзя ничего добавить потому, что в законе не сказано, что у Правительства РФ есть такое право.

Верховный суд посчитал, что требование о новой сдаче экзаменов в случае, если у водителя похитили документы, ограничивает права граждан, а в соответствии со ст. 55 Конституции РФ права и свободы человека и гражданина могут быть ограничены только федеральным законом, а не постановлением Правительства.

Поскольку пункт 41 Правил противоречил ст. 55 Конституции РФ и ст. 28 Федерального закона «О безопасности дорожного движения», которые имеют большую юридическую силу, суд признал этот пункт незаконным.

Из этого следует, что не нужно отчаиваться, если вам встретился нормативный акт, который говорит не в вашу пользу. Попробуйте поискать документ более высокого уровня или, иначе говоря, большей юридической силы, и если он вас устроит, доказывайте, что применяться должен именно он.


Part 2



Every society has a range of values – in other words, principles and ideas about the way people should live, conduct themselves and be treated by others. Because of our history as a collection of English colonies, Australian values were largely derived from those of Great Britain. Many of these values are still present in our society today. However the passage of time, the arrival of millions of immigrants and our evolution as a nation have allowed Australia to acquire its own distinct set of values. Individuals acquire their values from a range of sources: their friends, the education they receive, their religious beliefs and exposure to the media and cultural elements such as literature, television, movies and the Internet. Above all, we acquire most of our core values from our parents, our family and our upbringing.

Although Australia is a liberal democracy that permits diversity and freedom of thought and expression, there are certain core values that the majority of Australians accept and believe. These fundamental values are the bedrock of Australian society and inform law-making to a significant degree. Newcomers to Australia to acknowledge, accept and abide by these values. Among these core values are a number of values and beliefs. Australians believe that all citizens should be safe from physical harm. They believe that personal property should be secure from theft or damage. They believe that everyone should enjoy equal rights, regardless of their gender, sexuality, race or religion. They believe everyone has a right to think and speak freely. They believe everyone has a right to choose and practice any religious belief. They believe everyone should have reasonable access to welfare, education and heath care. They believe everyone is entitled to have a say in the election of governments. And Australians also believe that everyone should be treated fairly and equally by the law.

Our laws both reflect and reinforce these values and expectations. Criminal codes protect individuals from physical harm, theft and property damage. Anti-discrimination laws protect the rights of women, ethnic and minority groups. The Constitution and legislation guarantees our fundamental right to participate in the election of governments by voting. Legislation, the courts and court procedures ensure that individuals receive fair treatment before the law, if they are accused of a criminal offence or subject to civil action. The law also reinforces certain social rights and values by banning practices such as slavery, child trading, people smuggling, polygamy, female genital mutilation and so on.

While there is a broad consensus about these core values, it is worth remembering that Australia is a multicultural and diverse society, containing millions of people from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Australian society has developed a diversity of ideas, values and expectations. Some of the values and issues that attract a greater diversity of views amongst Australians –  and therefore varying levels of disagreement –  include:

•The rights, recognition and entitlements of same-sex couples.

•The types and severity of sanctions that should be imposed on convicted criminals.

•Attitudes about immigration, refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and citizenship.

•Matters of public decency, such as nudity, pornography and sexual advertising.

One of the challenges of the law is to reflect a consensus of views and values but to do so responsibly, in line with international standards and with due regard to minorities. Western law has been very much based upon utilitarianism: the ethical philosophy that law and government should strive to produce the «greatest happiness for the greatest number». This does not mean that the law is or should be purely democratic. Making and reforming laws is not as simple as determining what a majority of people think, since sometimes even a majority viewpoint may be wrong. The last execution in Australia was carried out in 1967, after which courts stopped utilising it and parliaments wrote it out of legislation. However opinion polls for the next three decades showed continued public support for capital punishment. Conversely, the law should not change simply to cater to minority groups, temporary shifts in values or passing whims. A complaint often made about the law is that it reacts and reforms too slowly, and is often a decade or a generation behind the social values of the day.

The main function of the law is to protect the lives, liberties, rights and property of citizens. There are two fundamental areas of law: criminal law and civil law. Law represented in news reports, public discussion or popular culture, such as TV crime shows, it is usually criminal law. But we often hear about civil law cases too, such as High Court challenges and actions to recover losses or damages. High-profile divorce cases also make the news. In 2006 Australian golf professional Greg Norman (see picture) separated from his wife of 25 years, Laura Norman. Their somewhat acrimonious divorce case was heard by a Florida court in 2007, with the court granting Laura Norman a hefty $US100 million settlement. Within months Greg Norman became engaged to former tennis pro, Chris Evert (also pictured) –  however they have since divorced, and Norman has married a third time.

In simple terms, criminal law refers to:

        Laws that are defined by legislation, enforced by the police and prosecuted by the state.

        Laws that set clear and firm boundaries of conduct for individual behaviour in a society.

        Laws with a strong range of sanctions or punishments, ranging from fines to imprisonment and, in some societies, execution.

        Laws that deal with offences against the person, such as murder, attempted murder, assault and sexual assault.

        Laws that deal with offences against property, such as theft, fraud, arson and vandalism.

        Laws that deal with offences against public morality, such as prostitution, child pornography, bigamy and indecent exposure.

In contrast, civil law:

        Is concerned with protecting the rights and property of individuals that are not necessarily protected by criminal laws.

        Is usually initiated by an aggrieved party (such as the plaintiff), who takes legal action against those who they claim to have wronged them.

        Is sometimes concerned with commercial or contractual disputes, such as unpaid monies, an unfulfilled contract or a breach of promise.

        Is sometimes concerned with resolving family disputes, such as marital break-ups, divorce settlements, child custody arrangements and child maintenance.

        Is sometimes concerned with examining personal suffering, such as psychological harm or loss of reputation, to find out if someone is liable and whether they should make restitution.

Criminal and civil law are not mutually exclusive. It is possible for an individual to be prosecuted for criminal conduct and then face civil action for the same conduct. Because the standard of proof is higher in criminal law than civil law, it is not unknown for civil action to succeed, even if the accused was acquitted in a criminal trial. In 1995 a California jury acquitted former NFL star Orenthal «OJ» Simpson for the murder of his wife, Nicole Brown, and another man, Ronald Goldman. Two years later a civil action against Simpson saw Goldman’s family granted a payment of $US33.5 million.



1. Sum up the main ides of the text and retell it in Russian.


2. Fill in the missing words from the box into the text below.

before parliaments proclamation who rights bill begin introduced ministers explanatory clerk general contains reasons conclusions complexity opposition negotiate


Once a bill is introduced into parliament it must pass through several stages and checks 1)_________ it becomes legislation. This process is a long and sometimes complex one, and can vary depending on the type of bill being raised. It also varies slightly among the various Federal and State 2)_________ of Australia. The process begins with the drafting of a bill and ends with the granting of royal assent, public 3)_________ and enactment. For those who have lobbied or pushed for law reform, the granting of royal assent can be an important moment. The image above shows volunteer fire-fighters, 4)_________ had lobbied for statutory recognition of volunteer 5)_________, with a document of royal assent to a bill codifying many of their rights.

Described here is the process by which a 6)_________ becomes law in the Federal Parliament:

Apart from appropriation bills, which must always 7)_________ in the House of Representatives, a bill can be 8)_________ into either House of Parliament. Any MP can introduce bills but generally they are raised by 9)_________. MPs are forewarned of bills being raised on the parliament’s Notice Paper.

The minister or MP raising the bill begins by reading its short title aloud, then he or she hands the bill and an 10)_________ memorandum to the clerk. The clerk then reads its long title, formally introducing the bill into the parliament. The 11)_________ will make copies of the bill available to other MPs, as well as placing it online for examination by the 12)_________ public.

Second reading (speech). The minister or MP raising the bill delivers a speech, usually immediately after the first reading, in which he or she explains the necessity for the bill, what it 13)_________ and what it will achieve. This usually takes place immediately after the first reading. This provides an important context for the bill and the 14)_________ for its formulation. These speeches are recorded in Hansard and may be consulted by judges who later must interpret the legislation.

Second reading (debate). After this introductory speech, discussion on the bill is deferred to a later date. This allows other MPs, the media and the general public to examine the bill and form their own 15)_________ and opinions. The deferment may be a few days or (more commonly) two or more weeks, depending on the 16)_________ of the bill and the government’s urgency to see it passed. When debate commences, MPs from the government, the 17)_________, minor parties and independents may speak in turn on the bill. In theory there is no time limit for debate, however the parties will generally 18)_________ a number of speakers, to avoid the process taking too long. A vote is held at the conclusion of debate and if a majority supports the bill, the process continues.


3. Read the following article and make a rendering of it in English.


Федеральные законы делятся на Федеральные конституционные законы (т.е. федеральные законы, имеющие большую юридическую силу, чем обычные законы, и принимающиеся по самым важным вопросам, указанным в Конституции РФ), и просто федеральные законы.

Федеральными конституционными законами являются, например, ФКЗ «О Правительстве Российской Федерации», ФКЗ «Об уполномоченном по правам человека», ФКЗ «О судебной системе Российской Федерации» и т. д.

Одним из видов обычных (т.е. не конституционных) законов являются кодексы.

Определение. Кодекс –  это закон, регулирующий большую и важную область нашей жизни и заменяющий собою множество других нормативных актов, которые регулировали те же вопросы до его принятия.

Основными федеральными кодексами, которые нужно иметь под рукой, являются: Гражданский кодекс РФ, Гражданский процессуальный кодекс РФ, Уголовный кодекс РФ, Уголовно-процессуальный кодекс РФ, Семейный кодекс РФ, Трудовой кодекс РФ и т.д.

Если в названии закона вместо слов «Федеральный закон» вы увидите «Закон РФ», или «Закон РСФСР», то не смущайтесь. Это точно такие же федеральные законы, но принятые до вступления в силу Конституции РФ от 12 декабря 1993 г., поскольку тогда они назывались именно так. Они имеют такую же силу, как и современные федеральные законы.

До 1994 г. в СССР, а потом и в России принимались акты, которые назывались «Основы законодательства». Например, Основы законодательства о культуре от 9 октября 1992 г. № 3612-I или Основы законодательства Российской Федерации об охране здоровья граждан от 22 июля 1993 г. № 5487-1, которые также являются законами и действуют наравне с федеральными законами.

Давайте договоримся, что я и дальше буду называть законами, не только законы в строгом юридическом смысле, но и вообще все нормативные акты. Когда же речь будет идти именно о законах, я буду использовать их точное название: «федеральный закон», «закон субъекта федерации» и т.д.


Part 3



Legislation is law that is developed, debated and passed by a parliament. It is also known as parliament-made law or statutory law. Legislation can be passed by either the Commonwealth parliament or the various State parliaments. The law-making power of parliaments is defined and limited by constitutions. Legislation starts its life as a bill, or proposed legislation. Bills are drafted by parliamentary counsel, then announced and debated within the parliament itself. If a bill is passed by the parliament it is signed by the governor or governor-general and becomes legislation. A single item of legislation is sometimes called a statute or an act of parliament. Once legislation is passed it can only be amended or repealed (abolished) by the same parliament that passed it.

Legislation is a law that has been made and enacted by a legislature, such as a parliament. A single piece of legislation is also known as an act of parliament or a statute, while legislation is broadly known as statutory law. Formulating new legislation and reviewing and amending existing legislation is the main business of Federal, State and Territory parliaments. Changing or creating legislation is also the main avenue for politicians to initiate change and manage problems in our society. The Rudd government’s contentious «alcopops» tax law, for example, was an attempt to curtail underage and teenage drinking by increasing the cost of pre-mixed spirit drinks. Its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) bill was a law to help address the problem of climate change. Not all government-initiated change comes from legislation, however. Kevin Rudd’s 2008 apology to the indigenous «Stolen Generation» was not a law, but simply a statement of apology, read in parliament and endorsed by MPs with a vote.

Legislation is considered a higher form of law because it can override or annul most other laws, including previous legislation, court-made law or regulations passed by subordinate authorities. Legislation is also the most democratic source of law because it is made by representatives chosen by the people. There is also a degree of self-checking in legislative law-making, since most Australian parliaments are bicameral and legislation must be endorsed by a vice-regal authority. In the Federal jurisdiction, for example, legislation can only pass with the approval of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, then the Governor-General (representing the Queen). Once legislation receives royal assent it is proclaimed and enacted and becomes the law of the land –  however even then it is not set in stone, as legislation is subject to review by the courts. Plus any legislation may be abolished, amended or replaced by future parliaments.

There are a number of ways in which the Australian people can participate in the formulation, review and amendment of legislation. The most direct response is to vote against the government responsible for unpopular legislation. Most political commentators believe that the Howard government’s defeat in the November 2007 Federal election was because of its unpopular Workchoices law. Governments tend to avoid creating or passing unpopular legislation for this reason. However the people can have their say on legislation and perhaps influence change in a number of other ways, as shall be explored in the pages about law reform.

All legislation starts its life as a bill. A bill is a proposed law that is introduced into the parliament, where it is subject to scrutiny, discussion, debate and voting. If there is sufficient support for a bill in both houses of parliament then the bill will be approved for royal assent and passed into law. Before a bill is introduced into parliament, however, it must be created, written and checked. The process of conceiving and drafting a bill is complex and involves many groups, ideas, factors and steps. This process is rarely fast: it usually takes months, sometimes even years for an idea to appear as a bill and then legislation. Some of the factors that determine how bills are initiated include:

Party ideology. All political parties have a set of common values and ideas, shared by their members. These values and ideas shape the kinds of legislation they would like to see enacted. Parties therefore develop and introduce bills that reflect their core values. In most cases this is done by the party in government, however the opposition or minor parties can also draft and raise bills (though this is rare, since without a majority they are unlikely to succeed).

Election campaigns. The four weeks or so prior to an election is called a campaign. During this time each political party reveals its policies to voters. These policies may include promises of new legislation and amendments or repeal of existing legislation. The parties attempt to win voter support by demonstrating how they would change the law to improve living conditions and society within their jurisdiction. In 2007 an election promise of the Rudd Labor Party was that it would scrap the unpopular Workchoices legislation.

Media attention and public interest. Sometimes issues and problems receive much attention in the media, prompting parties or individual MPs to attempt a legislative response. Environmental concerns such as climate change and global warming, economic crises such as the global financial crisis and social problems such as night-time violence in urban Melbourne have all contributed to the development of new legislation and regulations.

Other pressures for law reform. These include but are not limited to: advice from parliamentary committees; recommendations from law reform bodies such as the ALRC and VLRC; pressure groups and lobbyists; legal advice from government lawyers and policy advisors; information and advice from government departments; and changes to international law. Advice from medical experts, marketing specialists and bureaucrats has led to legislation governing the packaging of tobacco products (see picture). Regardless of these pressures, in most cases the Prime Minister and Cabinet will make the final decision on which bills are introduced into the parliament.

Once the decision has been made to create a bill, the bill itself must be drafted (written). This process can itself be long and complicated. Bills must contain language that is unambiguous and conveys its meaning and intent as clearly as possible. As prospective pieces of legislation, bills must be constitutional and avoid conflict with other laws, whether in the same jurisdiction or in other jurisdictions. Above all, bills must be constructed in such a way that they facilitate the smooth functioning of the law: upholding community values, providing consistency and fairness, furnishing judges with adequate information and accommodating a broad range of possible scenarios. Because of this, lawyers are heavily involved in the drafting of bills. Most Federal government bills are prepared by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel, a department specialising in the drafting of bills. Ministers provide parliamentary counsel with a briefing about what the bill is to contain and counsel acts on these instructions. State and Territory governments employ their own departments, parliamentary committees and legal advisors for the same purpose.



1. Sum up the main ides of the text and retell it in Russian.


2. Fill in the missing words from the box into the text below.

stages moved bypassed minister clerk

other suggest minor declares enactment date


Consideration in detail (House of Representatives) and Committee of the whole (Senate). During these 1)__________ the details of the bill are closely examined and discussed. Every section and clause of the bill is read and MPs are permitted to speak briefly about them. Amendments may be 2)__________, such as the replacement, removal or addition of key words. These stages are optional and may be 3)__________, if MPs do not object (this is usually the case for bills that are short or simple in scope, bills that repeal or amend other acts, or bills that are supported by both major parties).

Third reading. If the bill passes through the second reading and committee stages, it is again moved by the original 4)__________ or MP. MPs are asked to vote for or against the motion; debate during this stage is rare. If a majority supports the bill then the 5)__________ again reads its long title, signifying that the bill has passed the house.

The 6)__________ House. Bills must pass both Houses to become law. Since most bills originate in the House of Representatives, once they have passed that house they are then transported to the Senate, where the above process is completed. The Senate may block the bill or 7)__________ amendments, particularly if the government of the day does not enjoy a majority there. In practice a lot of negotiation about amendments occurs «behind the scenes» between the government, the opposition, 8)__________ parties and independent MPs, to avoid the blocking or failure of bills.

Royal assent. The final stage in the legislative process is the granting of royal assent by the Governor-General, who 9)__________ it to be law «…in the name of Her Majesty».

Proclamation and 10)__________. All new legislation is formally announced in the Government Gazette, along with the date on which it comes into effect; this is known as proclamation. The legislation becomes law on the specified 11)__________, when it is considered to have been enacted.


3. Read the following article and make a rendering of it in English.


Закон – 1) юридический акт, принятый высшим представительным органом государственной власти либо непосредственным волеизъявлением народа (в порядке референдума) и регулирующий, как правило, наиболее важные общественные отношения. Составляет основу системы права государства, обладает наибольшей юридической силой по отношению к нормативным актам всех иных органов государства. Для 3. характерен особый порядок принятия, специальная законо-творческая процедура, распадающаяся на ряд стадий: законодательная инициатива, обсуждение законопроекта, принятие закона и его опубликование. Будучи единым по способу формирования, положению в правовой системе государства и роли в регулировании общественных связей, 3. в то же время делится на определенные виды. В частности, по значимости содержащихся в законе норм они делятся на конституционные, органические (см. Конституционный закон, Органический закон) и обычные. Обычные 3. делятся на кодификационные и текущие; 2) в широком смысле – нормативные правовые акты в целом; все установленные государством общеобязательные правила.