Evaluate the Effectiveness of Law Reform in Australia Law Reform in Australia is effective in varying degrees. Through Native Title Reform and Law Reform in Sport, the effectiveness of Law Reform in Australia is further outlined. The term ‘Native Title’ refers to the right of Indigenous people to their traditional land. In Australia it has a legal significance of the right to an area of land, claimed by people whose ancestors were the original inhabitants of the land before European settlement.

Also who can prove that they have had a continuous connection with the land. Native Title is the term given by the High Court to Indigenous land rights by the Court in Mabo and others v State of Queensland (No. 2) [1992] HCA 23. The case required the High Court to consider the legality of the ‘doctrine of terra nullius’ – land belonging to no one. This was the legal concept of that when the first Europeans came to Australia the land was owned by no one and thus was open to settlement. The High Court ruled in favour of Mabo and overturned the concept of ‘terra nullius’.

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This effectively resulted in the introduction of native title legislation to Australia. The 1967 Referendum in Australia resulted in two cases of law reform. Section 51 (xxvi) of the Constitution did not allow Indigenous people to vote and Section 127 did not allow Indigenous people to be counted in the Australian census. The referendum became a symbol of the public recognition of the rights of Indigenous Australians, and its success reflects this change in attitudes and beliefs that was taking place over the 1960’s.

Over 90 per cent of the population voted ‘yes’ on the amendments to the Constitution. Section 51 (xxvi) was amended to allow the federal government to legislate for Indigenous people and to override any discriminatory state laws. Section 127 was completely removed. As a result of this, law reform in Australia is very effective. There has been progress in the area of law reform relating to native title however it has been relatively slow.

This is due to the nature of the law, in which all those involved in native title claims must be considered when proposing and enacting new legislation, and as such, the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and its amendments recongnise not only the rights of the traditional owners, but also those of current landholders. Sport is a part of Australian culture, in which Australian athletes have performed well over the past years. ‘Sport Law’ ranges over the areas of contract law, tort law, and the criminal law. Tort law is the body of law that deals with civil wrongs including negligence, defamation, trespass and nuisance.

Civil litigation is court action brought to remedy a wrong or breach of contract. This is shown through Canterbury Bulldogs player Sonny Bill Williams breached his contract by walking out on the club after having signed a contract which was legally binding. Through this law reform has been further enhanced in Australian sport. Compensatory damages of more than $68,000 were awarded and the court held that Bugden’s club bore vicarious liability for assault during being employed as a player. Vicarious liability is the legal liability imposed on one person or agent (e. g. n employer) for the wrongful acts of another, when those acts were done within the scope of the legal relationship between them, such as employment. The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) is a statutory authority of the Australian government. This established the Australian Sports Commission Act 1989 (Cth), the ASC plays a role in the development and operation of sport at all levels. Through the development of the ASC Act 1989 law reform in Australia through Sport has been further effective. Law Reform in Australia is effective through Native Title Reform and Law Reform in Sport.