Fundamentals of Law I – Global Homework Experts

LAWS11030 Foundations of
Business Law
Fundamentals of Law I
What is Law?
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educational purposes.Lecture Overview
A. What is Law?
B. Purposes of Law
C. What is Business Law?A. What is Law?What is Regulation?
• Narrow concept
– Regulation is government endorsed rules known as ‘command and control’
• Broad concept
– Regulation covers all forms of mechanisms of social control or influence that
affect behavior
– Examples – industry codes of conduct, admission requirements for lawyers
or accountants, business codes of conduct, etc
Ø The focus of LAWS11030 is on the narrow concept and rules governing
businesses contained in legislation, common law and equityWhat is Law?
• What is Law?
– is the body of state endorsed principles, standards and rules that govern
the relationships between the members of society and between the
government and its citizens.
• What is business law?
– The numerous, specific and diverse rules regulating businesses and
business activities made by the state
– Enforcement: (1) government agencies or government regulators
(statutory authorities) litigious or non-litigious prosecutions (2) private
persons in litigation or alternative dispute resolutionObjectives of Law
1. Be fair
2. Create certainty
3. Flexible in operation and enforcement
4. Responsive to changes in society, the economy,
industry, etc
5. Accessible to the communityConceptualising Law
• Types of legal systems
1. Common law
2. Civil law
3. Indigenous law
4. International law
• Types of law
1. Natural law
2. Religious law
3. Customary law
4. Positive lawAre Acting Ethically and Legally Equivalent?
• A legal act complies with the law
• Acting ethically meets recognised standards of
appropriate behaviour – personal, business, industry,
• Examples
– Conduct identified by the Royal Commission into the
banking, finance and superannuation industries eg.
amount of fees, selling high risk products to unsuitable
clients, etc
8Law and Justice
• What is justice?
– Access to the legal system or a favourable outcome?
– Legal advice – self representation vs legal aid lawyer vs commercial law firm vs barrister
• Justice can simply be described as fairness
– Fair rule eg. everyone treated the same
– Fair process/decision eg. government agency
– Fair practices eg. contracts and consumers
– Fair compensation or punishment
• Types of justice
1. Distributive justice
2. Restorative justice
3. Retributive justice
4. Procedural justice
9The Rule of Law
• The ‘rule of law’ is a political doctrine that holds no
person is above the law and that the law applies
equally to all people.
• The World Justice Project recognised four universal
principles of the rule of law:
1. accountability;
2. just laws;
3. open government;
4. accessible and impartial dispute resolution.Enforcement of Law
• Law can be contrasted to some other forms of regulation
in relation to enforcement
1. Prosecution by the state
• Violation of criminal law – prosecution by the government
• Violations of civil law – prosecution by government regulators eg.
Australian Taxation Office or the Australian Securities and Investment
2. Litigation
• Access to the court system – trial, appeals, hearings, etc
• Parties to litigation are ‘legal persons’ – people, businesses or
• Business disputes can involve contracts, owners, investors, customers,
suppliers, etcB. Purposes of LawPurposes of Law
1. Maintain social order by preserving and enforcing
community values
2. Protect the disadvantaged
3. Stabilise the economy
4. Prevent the misuse of power
5. Resolve disputes
13Law and Social Order and Community Values
• A key purpose of the law is to maintain social order by
creating peace and preventing chaos through a clear set of
standards that everyone must comply with
– Specific social standards – criminal prohibition on theft, assault and
– Safety standards – road rules on speeding and dangerous driving
– Public health rules – Covid vaccinations, masks, travel, etc
• Social order is connected to the law preserving, reflecting and
enforcing community values
– Community values differ between countries and evolve over time
– These objectives are met by the election of parliamentarians, the
legislative process and the courtsLaw and the Disadvantaged
• Disadvantaged groups can include people with disabilities,
refugees and other migrant groups, ethnic groups,
indigenous, members of the LGBTIQ community and people
living on or below the poverty line
• Law can assist disadvantaged groups within the community
by fairly distributing resources and providing appropriate legal
– Taxation law – redistribute financial resources of wealthier people
– Social welfare laws – different support services eg. financial,
education, employment, etc
– Anti-discrimination law – protect human rights and create equalityLaw and the Economy
• Transparent, stable and consistent laws create
certainty for businesses
– Practices, transactions, costs, enforcement, etc
• Laws and a legal system allow entrepreneurs and
the owners of capital the confidence to establish and
operate businesses
• Laws have economic costs
– Changing the rate of taxation, compliance costs of a new
law, negative economic impacts of a law, etcImportance of the ‘Rule of Law’
• Consistent and transparent system of laws and the effective and fair operation of a legal
system prevents the misuse of power by government
• Australia is a liberal democracy and the ‘rule of law’ is one of the fundamental principles of
government and law
– Government authority must be exercised in accordance with written and publicly disclosed law that
were adopted and enforced through proper procedures à contrast to authoritarian, totalitarian or
failed states
– Rule of law: (1) the law applies equally to everyone (2) the courts uphold the legal rights of citizens
(3) no one is punished for conduct that is not expressly illegal
• The origins of the rule of law are in the Magna Carta in 1215
– For the first time recognsied that the an unelected monarch must be restrained under law and
citizens are not to be subjected to the arbitrary rule of a tyrannical monarch
– Magna Carta established that citizens must be ruled and governed according to accepted legal
– Rule of law has evolved beyond arbitrary power to include all people being equally subjected to the
law and the protection of the rights of citizens based on law and legal principles
17Resolving Disputes
• Law creates clear rules and processes to resolve
business disputes
• Business disputes can be resolved through:
1. Litigation in the courts
2. Arbitration
3. Negotiation
4. Mediation
5. Conciliation
6. OmbudsmanC. What is Business Law?Why Study Business Law?
• Business graduates need to understand the complex
regulatory mix of laws that govern business activities
• Issues include compliance and enforcement of law
• Statutes are enforced by various government regulators
(statutory authorities) who have legislative powers to
ensure compliance and investigate and enforce
breaches of legislation
– ACCCWhat is Business Law?
• Business or commercial law is a broad area of law
that governs the activities and operation of
– Includes common law, equity and statutes
• Business law governs business structures, liability of
employees and ownership, bankruptcy, contract,
property, competition, consumers, taxation,
employment and occupational health and safety, etcExamples of Business Law
• Examples include:
– Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
– Partnership Act 1958 (Vic)
– Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth)
– Fair Work 2009 (Cth)
– Property Law Act (Qld)
– Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)
– Common law of contract
– Principles of equityDoes Law Create a Regulatory Burden?
• Volume of laws
• Complexity of modern business law
• Cost of compliance
– Time and cost
– Internal cost and resources
– External advisers eg. accountants, lawyers, tax specialists
• Consequences of non-compliance
– Civil or criminal liability
– Reputational damage

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