Assignment explains rules of recognition, change & adjudication have been discussed in terms of Australian legal system.



Every legal system has certain characteristic features that are used to distinguish the legal system from other legal systems. This section of the study focuses on identifying the definition of rules of recognition, rules of change and rules of adjudication in terms of two different legal systems. Firstly, the rules of recognition, change and adjudication have been discussed in terms of UK legal system and then the factors have been compared with that of Australian legal system. 

Legal system of UK

Rules of recognition

In H.L.A Hart’s theory of legal positivism, Rule of recognition is found to be an essential part of the theory. Hart has considered it the essential rule through which all rules can be understood and has been identified . The rule can be considereddifferent from the social practices of officials and it has three functions:

? The first function is to establish a test for valid law

? To confer validity as compared to everything else in the applicable legal system 

? To help in unifying laws in the applicable legal system 

In UK legal system the rule of recognition is a factual acknowledgement of what can be considered elementarily as law of the country and it can be further illustrated by the classic example of passing a bill by the legislative authority and assented to by a Head of State. In regards to Rules of Recognition, the judgement in Factome Ltd vs Secretary of State for Transport is important as the case sheds light on the alteration of the Rule of Recognition and it confirmed the incompatibility of UK legislation by the evidence of merchant shipping Act. 

Rules of change 

As Hart states in his Concept of Law, there are no legal systems that can be considered as Pareto optimal. The rules of change are considered to the contrast of the primary rules and it is closely linked with rules of recognition. In UK Nadanvs The King indicated that an authority that is supporting the proposition of a State or provincial Legislature cannot abolish a Crown prerogative without the legislative authority permitted by the British parliament. In later cases like British Coal Corporation vs The King has been identified to be in the light of changes in statute of Westminster which were brought forth by the virtue of powers of Dominion parliament. However, a state Legislature does not have the powers of change without the expressed or implied granting within the terms of constituent power and it is restricted by Royal prerogative. 

Rules of adjudication

Rules of Adjudication work as the remedy of inefficiency. Rules of adjudication primarily govern the election and the procedure of judiciary. Compared to the rules of change rules of adjudication help in empowering the individuals in order to authorize and determine the questions on a particular occasion of breaking a primary rule. In UK legislation as the changes of rules exists, the Rules of Adjudication had been used in order to overcome inefficiency of the legal system. With the help of case laws, the issue is resolved in UK . In case of any inefficiency noticed in the primary rules of law the amendments are done by using decisions from the cases. UK Contract Law is one of the chief instances, where the legal inefficiency is resolved through different case instances and introducing changes in the test rules. 

Addressing the same requirements in Australian legal system

Rules of recognition

In Australia the fundamental rule that is also known as the Rules of recognition are considered to be amalgamation of the interests that can be located in other legal systems. The development of colonial system and the beginning in 1788 directed different stages of colonial office. In Australia, the fundamental rule has evolved from responsible government that is drawn from UK and federalism that is drawn from federal system. In Australia the basic role of Courts is taken into account by providing the general amending clause of section 128 that states in order to be successfully included as the alteration of the constitution through amendment, it is important that a constitutional alteration is approved by majority of electors throughout Australia and by majority of the Australian states as well. 

Rules of change 

In Case Of Australian Statute Law, the government needs to agree upon the fact that the changes in the law are worthwhile and in accordance with that,the parliamentary counsel drafts a bill. After debate, an approved bill receives assent and it is handed over to the state governor or the Commonwealth governor General  . Rather than the positivist approach of Law, the Australian courts prefer purposive approach for interpreting the rules/ in case of Common Law, the High Court of Australia ensures a general jurisdiction over the state Supreme Courts and helps in enactment of a single Australian Common Law. The changes in law in accordance with Hart’s perspective of Rule of Changes depend on the legislative body Law Reform of the country.  

Rules of adjudication 

In Australia, as the Common Law system emerged from the UK Common Law and the Federal Law of US, it is important that the Rules of adjudication is similar to that of the Rules in UK legal system. In Australia Rule of law is promoted by Australian government and in case of any required amendments in the existing rules the cases are considered important for the common law rules . On the other hand, Rule of Adjudication is followed as a process in which the Australian court can determine when a rule has been violated in order to prescribe a remedy. In the Common law, remedy is available for violation of rule and for instance, the remedies available for breach of contract can be suggested. However, punitive measures are also applied that does not comply with the rules of adjudication and it can be noticed in the criminal law cases.


In the light of the above study, it can be stated that the legal systems of different countries are based on cultural customs and the rules of law have evolved in terms of different external influences. From the comparison of UK and Australian legal system, the differences and similarities in the application of Rules of recognition, change and adjudication have been evaluated. 

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