Have you ever come across something that really bothered you to the point you thought ‘Surely they can’t get away with that? There must be a law about that sort of thing!’ Examples big and small abound: Urban developments advertising SPACE (the 10cms between rooftops?); or people constantly blocking your driveway making it difficult to safely enter or exit your property; or tradies who botch a very expensive job; or the sudden disappearance of the last remnant vegetation on route to work… There may very well be a law to cover all contingencies, but then again – maybe not.
We are constantly governed by laws, they pervade our every action in society – yet do we really know what they are and what our rights are within them? Fortunately, there are books out there to help us better understand the law and how they translate into our rights and responsibilities. Below are just a few examples.
Natural resources and environmental justice : Australian perspectives; editors: Anna Lukasiewicz, Stephen Dovers, Libby Robin, Jennifer McKay, Steven Schilizzi and Sonia Graham. There is little to show us how to achieve fairness and equity in environmental governance and public policy, ultimately causing conflict between different community interests. Natural Resources and Environmental Justice identifies best practice in Australian environmental management. Written by experts in in the fields of environment, social sciences, law and economics, this book covers many current issues, including coal seam gas, desalination plants, community relations in mining and forestry, the rise of sea-levels and animal rights. It proposes a social justice framework and an agenda for future research in environmental management.
Integrating human service law, ethics and practice by Rosemary Kennedy, Jenny Richards, Tania Leiman, introduces human service workers, psychologists and social workers to the relationship between law, ethics and human practice. It includes activities for practitioners to improve their understanding of how human services and the law interact, giving them an appreciation of how it impacts their work. Included are real-life cases involving human services.
Law’s Strangest Cases: Extraordinary but True Tales from over FiveCenturies of Legal History by Peter Seddon.
‘Nothing but the truth, the whole truth and the unbelievable truth from this fascinating collection of the strangest cases ever to appear in a court of law. A rollicking collection of barely believable stories from five centuries of legal history – you’ll be gripped by these tales of murder, intrigue, crime, punishment and the pursuit of justice. Meet the only dead parrot ever to give evidence in a court of law, the doctor with the worst bedside manner of all time, the murderess who collected money from her mummified victim for 21 years, and explore one of the most indigestible dilemmas – if you’d been shipwrecked 2,000 miles from home, would you have eaten Parker the cabin boy? The tales within these pages are bizarre, fascinating, hilarious and, most importantly, true. (Harper Collins) Look inside here: www.amazon.com.au
Crimes that shaped the law by David Field. The law is constantly changing to reflect the society it serves. Criminal cases arise that dramatically dictate the need for alterations. This book includes twelve real-life cases that triggered some of these changes. The cases include ‘baby farming’, domestic violence, mistaken identity and sleepwalking killers. The laws affected involve the accused’s ‘right to silence’, the ‘battered woman syndrome’ and the validity of eyewitness accounts.
The journalist’s guide to media law : a handbook for communicators in a digital world by Mark Pearson ; Mark Polden.
‘We are all journalists and publishers now: at the touch of a button we can send our words, sounds and images out to the world … and everything you publish or broadcast is still subject to the law. But which law?’ This is a practical guide to the laws governing online media addressing a broad range of topics including defamation, privacy, intellectual property and ethics. ‘The leading text book from which most journos learned their law’ – Margaret Simons, Director of Centre for Advancing Journalism, University of Melbourne
Take a sneak peek here: books.google.com.au
Of course this list is only scratching the surface of the law titles available, on topics addressing all fields of social interaction. Just type the word law into any catalogue to browse.