To what extent did the concepts and institutions of the Western legal tradition influence the colony of New South Wales and, ultimately, the development of the Australian legal system?
The concepts and institutions of the Western legal tradition, namely common and statute law, the court system and the Bill of Rights, influenced the colony of New South Wales, and ultimately, the development of the Australian legal system to a great extent. Although the concepts and institutions of the Western legal tradition continue to influence New South Wales and the Australian legal system, the extent to which it does influence has decreased over time.
The concepts and institutions of the Western legal …show more content…
The Privy Council in Cooper v Stuart upheld this in 1889. This case focused on the rule against perpetuities, it states that although this rule, “is in its principle, an important feature of the common law of England”... “Their Lordships see no reason to suppose that the rule, so limited, is not required in New South Wales by the same considerations which have led to its introduction here, that its operation in that Colony would be less beneficial than in England” (Vines p.176-77). This concept that only applicable English laws would be enforced in Australia was very influential in the development of Australian law as it created an immediate distinction between English and Australian law.
“It was clear that Britain was not concerned to have colonial parliaments slavishly follow all imperial legislation” (Vines p.186). An example of this is that South Australia passed suffrage legislation allowing women in SA the vote twenty years before Britain did the same. Another example, which shows a certain lack of influence that English law had on the development of Australian law, is seen again, through Kable v Captain Sinclair (1788). The significance of this case is that criminals who had been given the death sentence in England were regarded as no longer having any civil rights whereas convicts in Australia were allowed to