Lesson Idea

‘Unusual’ Laws

Theme: Laws and Crime
Relates to WACC: ACHCK050, ACHCK063, ACHCK064, ACHCK077, ACHCK090, VCCCG029, VCCCL022, VCCCL023, VCCCL034
  • As laws relate to values, beliefs and society norms, different countries and times in history produce what we might consider to be unusual laws. For instance, it used to be illegal to dust your doormat on a Sunday. Why might this be? (People wore their best clothes for attending church).

Students investigate an unusual law and create a presentation slide describing their chosen law. Once completed collate the slides and view them as a class. Discuss why each law may have been created. (Note for Year 10 students this should be done in the context of contemporary laws of another country). For example, each year school leavers going to Bali are reminded to make themselves aware of the laws and legal processes of Indonesia. To be a good international citizen, it is important to understand that different countries, just like Australia, base their legal system on their own set of beliefs and values.

  • When visiting another country, it is important that visitors inform themselves of the differences between Australia and the destination countries legal system. Divide the class into groups of four. Each group is to select a travel destination and investigate its laws, especially those that could impact on tourists. When the research has been completed, groups create a presentation using a range of formats such as a video, PowerPoint or poster and share with the rest of the class. Use this as a summative assessment investigation.
  • Using the Current Trends and Future Laws worksheet, students:
    • Identify possible community concerns not currently covered by existing laws
    • Propose a new law to cover these concerns
    • Propose how the law should be applied by the police and judiciary
    • Write a persuasive argument in support of introducing this law.
  • You may wish to extend this activity by choosing one of these laws and conducting a student role play introducing and debating the new law (Bill) in the House of Representatives. Teacher resources to support the role play can be found at Make A Law: House of Representatives .

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