Primary Resources

Rule of Law Education supports national and state curriculum requirements in Primary education.

Curriculum links and program ideas

Civics, Citizenship and Laws

Magna Carta and Human Rights

Australian Colonies

Democracy and Australian Governance

Democracy and Government

Democracy works best when it is supported by the rule of law. Democratic values determine how governance is managed and where ruling power is decided by the people, for the people. The rule of law ensures those in power are subject to the law and those laws are known and followed thereby providing protection from anarchy, lawlessness, and corruption.

 

The Five Main Forms of Governance

There are many different types of governments around the world today,
but only five form the basic characteristics of rule.
Each one has elements that can be found in various government systems, from autocracy to democracy.

Rule of Law Education has a POSTER and classroom activities to help teachers and students navigate this challenging topic.

Excellent for Smartboard presentations to share with the class.

Different Forms of Government – STUDENT ACTIVITY PAGE

 An activity page for a more advanced look into the different forms of government. These tasks cater to different ability levels with support in researching information links included.

This resource provides opportunities for students to investigate what is currently happening in the world and discover the impacts of social media and the way governments around the world manage or control how their societies communicate.

 

 

Magna Carta’s Influence in Australia

Australian society has a system of governance that is based on the rule of law. Recognising the values that define the principles surrounding the rule of law helps citizens to understand how Australia became a democratic nation.

The Magna Carta is a driving influence in Australian governance, creating a system where the people have the authority to decide who will govern them and how.

Magna Carta is a historical agreement between a notoriously tyrannical king and his rebellious barons in Medieval England 1215, embodying one of the most important principles of the rule of law:

no one is above the law of the land – not even the monarch

Many of the principles and values gained from the Magna Carta have been incorporated into the foundations of governance for the most successful democratic countries around the world today, including Australia. Follow the timeline to discover when Magna Carta arrived on our shores and formed the foundations for Australian society.

                

 

Sovereignty

A supreme power, or authority that is responsible for decision-making and law-making to manage the state, such as maintaining law and order for its people.

This resource provides a fun way to explain the four main elements that are required for a country to be internationally recognised as a sovereign state.
These elements are:

  • Defined territories and borders
  • Sovereign rights and responsibilities
  • Law-making authority
  • Having a population 

The population includes citizens that live in the territory and follow the rules and laws of the land, which are created by the government.

In a democracy, the sovereign state authority is controlled by the citizens who independently elect their own government. The power of the government is held by its citizens

Australian System of Governance

The Westminster system, a democratic parliamentary system of government modelled on the politics of the United Kingdom, has travelled a long and arduous road to becoming the blueprint for Australia’s system of governance.

In the decades that followed, the developing Australian colonies formed their own parliaments but were subject to the law-making powers of the British Parliament. However, on 1 January 1901, the Commonwealth of Australia was declared after all the colonies had finally agreed to join together and become one nation. This began the process by which the legislatures that had grown up in the colonies since 1788 became state legislatures operating as part of one system, the new federal parliament. These bodies combined to make state and federal laws that now define the Commonwealth of Australia.

In this section, teachers will find resources that explain the important details of how this system works, such as how a law is passed in the Parliament, the separation of powers, and how the Australian judiciary system operates today. Protecting Australians’ right to due process of law is an important safeguard of personal liberty that is defined under the Australian Constitution. Without this system of checks and balances, Australians would face uncertainty in living under the law.

                       

The Australian Constitution

The Australian Constitution is a plan, a blueprint that outlines a set of rules on how Australia is governed. It establishes a federal government that must follow these processes:
·       a national bicameral parliament – consisting of two Legislative Houses and the Queen’s  representative; ·       federal and state legislatures consist of representatives of the parliament that have been chosen by the people;

·       authority is limited from arbitrary rule through checks and balances;
·       the power of law-making is shared through:

1.      the separation of powers over three branches of government; the legislature, executive, and judiciary
2.      the division of powers between federal and state governments.

 

The Constitution protects all Australian citizens.
It recognises and supports the rule of law by providing a legal system that is fair and accessible to everyone

The law is clear, known, and enforced

Executive Government in Australia

Do you know the difference between the Federal Executive Council, the Cabinet, and the National Cabinet? These POSTERS are an excellent resource for your classroom in supporting students’ understanding of the difference between these executive groups in the Australian government.

      

You can also find a student activity fact sheet to help consolidate these ideas and keep your students informed of what is currently happening in Australia regarding a national plan of management and action during a crisis, such as a pandemic.

 

BICAMERALISM

Bicameralism means having two parliamentary chambers to avoid a concentration of power in a single body.

This system divides power between two legislative chambers, providing a safeguard against the abuse of power from one group over another. It also ensures Parliament can hold the government to account by checking or restraining the use of government power. A single chamber (unicameral) does not provide equal representation as the majority of its members may be representatives of the government party who will vote as the government dictates. Unlike the two chambers in a bicameral parliament, which are more effective in keeping a check on government conduct.

A bicameral system also draws on different voting systems thereby increasing representatives in the Parliament. In New South Wales, for example, the members of the lower House represent individual constituencies and are elected according to optional preferential voting, while upper House members represent the entire State according to a system of proportional representation. This means that Parliament represents a wide range of different interests and views, making parliamentary processes more democratic in representing the people it serves.

 

  Downloads

Democracy and Government

A democracy works best when it is supported by the rule of law. Democratic values determine how governance is managed, where ruling power is decided by the people, for the people. The rule of law ensures, those in power are subject to the law and those laws are known and followed. Thereby providing protection from anarchy, lawlessness, and corruption.

In January 1901, all six Australian colonies joined to become one nation. This began the process by which the legislatures that had grown up in the colonies since 1788 became state legislatures operating as part of one system, which included the new federal parliament. These bodies combined state and federal laws that now define the Commonwealth of Australia.

The Westminster system has travelled a long and arduous road to become the blueprint for Australian governance. In this section, teachers will find resources that explain the important details of how this system works, such as how a law is passed in the Parliament and the separation of powers, a vital part of how the Australian judiciary system operates today. Protecting Australians’ right to due process of law is an important safeguard of personal liberty defined under the Australian Constitution. Without this system of checks and balances, Australians would face uncertainty in living under the law.

   Resources

The Fundamental Concepts of Democracy
Timeline to Democracy

  Downloads

Democracy
Democracy in Action
The Fundamental Concepts of Democracy
Timeline to Democracy
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
A State of Chaos
Anarchy
Australia becoming a nation – Change in Australian Society
Australia becoming a nation – Federation
Australia becoming a nation – Immigration
Australia becoming a nation – Suffrage
Australia becoming a nation – System of Government
The Australian Constitution
Separation of Powers
Separation of Powers – Check and Balances
The Australian Judiciary
Bills and Laws
Australian Levels of Government
Timeline Towards Federation
Estabishing Australia’s First Legal System