Law is a human activity. This engaging book examines the contexts underpinning Australian law and goes beyond its language and institutions to enquire into how legal norms operate in practice. It aims to demystify the law, whilst critically analysing its value and creatively exploring how it might be reformed to serve justice more fully in a complex world.
The authors address four major themes: the liberal foundations of Australian law, the hurdles generally encountered by law in its endeavour to lead to positive social change, the impact of social divisions such as class, gender or race on the application of the law, including its resulting failures for the marginalised, and the influences of globalisation on the shape and operation of Australian law.
The critical approach of the authors presents theories of law from different viewpoints, inviting readers to determine their own responses to its operation across a range of issues. The accessible, coherent and structured analysis makes the book an ideal introduction to the socio-legal foundations and operation of Australian law for students, lawyers and non-legal audiences.
- Logically structured
- Plentiful examples to support discussion
Chisholm & Nettheim, Understanding Law, 8th ed, 2012
Creyke at el, Laying Down the Law, 10th ed, 2018 Ratnapala & Moens, Jurisprudence of Liberty, 2nd ed, 2010
Table of contents
Part I: The Philosophy of the Rule of Law
1. Liberalism as the Philosophical Foundation of Australian Law
2. The Rule of Law, Formalism and Legal Reasoning
Part II: Limits to the Law’s Efficacy as a Social Change Agent
3. Law and Power
4. Law and Morality
Part III: Law, (In)Equality and Social Change
5. Law and Class
6. Law and Gender
7. Law and Race
8. Law and the First Australians
Part IV: Australian Law in a Globalised World
9. Law and Human Rights
10. Law and Counterterrorism
11. Law and Transnational Corporations
12. Law and Artificial Intelligence