Winning Entries to the 2011 Regional Essay Competition
2011 Division 1 (15-18 years) Winner
Hannah Mathewson (Centenary Heights S.H.S., Toowoomba)
“What do you understand by the Rule of Law? Explain with examples its effectiveness in areas such as sport, crime and government.”
The Rule of Law, as enshrined in our Australian Constitution, ensures that no one is above the law. (LexisNexis, 2011) The Rule of Law is considered one of the crucial dimensions that determine the quality and good governance of a country. (Kaufman, D) It seeks to provide a stable and secure foundation for the application of government power and the limitation of that power. The law is what keeps our country, the government and its citizens accountable. Without it, there would be no structure within our government and society, no morality and no justice. Anarchy would be the logical outcome of what would be effectively a lawless society. The implementation of the Rule of Law is intended to protect the nation from arbitrary governance and to ensure that there is protection against the uprising of a dictatorship to fill a power vacuum left by anarchic rule. (LexisNexis, 2011)
The phrase, The Rule of Law, first originated in the 17th century, but the principle is older. For example, Aristotle once said, “The law should govern”, and that those who are leaders should be, “…servants to the law”. (Salbato, S, 2009) The concept of the Rule of Law has existed for centuries due to the fact that it is so effective in the governing of a country.
Rule of law and crime
The rule of law prevents anarchy and guides society by providing rules for living. It provides consequences for the breaching of these laws. If there were no consequences, there would be no respect for the law. The penalty is what prevents the occurrence of crime. Though it does not cure crime, it is a deterrent for those who contemplate unlawful acts.
Rule of law and government
Clause 5 of the Constitution Act provides that the Constitution itself and the laws made under it, are binding on judges and people throughout the Commonwealth. (Parliament of Australia, 2011) Therefore, checks and balances ensure that there is real justice for all. The importance of the Rule of Law within society is vital. Not-for-profit groups such as the World Justice Project have analysed the way in which countries cannot survive without the Rule of Law applied by the governments in charge of relevant countries. As such, World Justice Project has become committed to advancing the rule of law around the world. They believe that there are four universal principles, by which the law should be upheld,
“The government is accountable or under the law. The laws are clear, publicised, stable, fair and protect fundamental rights. The process by which laws are enacted, administered and enforced is accessible, fair and efficient. Access to justice is provided by ethical adjudicators, attorneys or representatives and judicial officers.” (World Justice Project, 2011)
If the universal principle was adhered to, there would be peace and justice for all. Unfortunately, this is not the case as some countries choose to neglect the principle of the Rule of Law and find themselves enmeshed in political chaos, injustice, and unrest with a lack of respect for those in authority. For example, in Cambodia, there are thousands of young children who are sold illegally into child prostitution and slavery, to which the government turns a blind eye. (Hagar, 2011) This proves that if the Rule of Law is absent, then there will also be a high rate of immorality, abuse and injustice within a country. If a country is governed by the Rule of Law, then it will remain morally and politically effective, upholding the rights of the powerless. (Cooper, J 1997)
Rule of law and sport
The rule of law is not only relevant to crime and government, it is relevant on the sporting field also. Drugs in sport are a controversial and moral issue, particularly in cycling. The world Anti-doping Code clearly states,
Anti-doping programs seek to preserve what is intrinsically valuable about sport. This intrinsic value is often referred to as "the spirit of sport", it is how we play true. The spirit of sport is the celebration of the human spirit, body and mind, and is characterized by ethics, fairplay and honesty. (World Anti-doping code, 2009)
Doping in sport gives the athlete an unfair advantage over that of their competitors; this is where the Rule of Law comes into play. It is unethical, dishonest and definitely unfair. An example of this is the instance of when the 2006 Tour De France champion, Floyd Landis, was stripped of his title after he returned a positive drug test. The Rule of Law was effective in this instance as it proved that no one is above the law on a world stage.
The Rule of Law is a critical part of ethical and harmonious existence. Without it, the world would be in disarray, crime would be rampant, governments would become corrupt and sport would fall into the farcical situation of who has the best chemist wins! The effectiveness of the Rule of Law ensures order within multiple sectors of society. It creates the basis for accountability and order as well as encouraging positive morals and ethics. Should every country implement the Rule of Law and respect its aims, the potential to generate world peace would be a real possibility. Effective governance, under the authority of our Constitution and the application of the Rule of Law, is what makes Australia the country of peace, stability and justice that it is today.
Kaufman, Daniel et al. "Governance Matters VI: Governance Indicators for 1996-2006", World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4280.
Parliament of Australia, 2011, Commonwealth Of Australia Constitution Act, viewed 15 May, 2011 www.aph.gov.au
Salbato, S, 2009, Common Sense and the Rule of Law, viewed 30 April 2011. www.unitypublishing.com
World Anti-doping agency, 2009, World Anti-doping Code, viewed 4th May 2011. www.wada-ama.org (PDF)
World Justice Project, 2011, The Rule of Law, viewed 30 April, 2011. www.worldjusticeproject.org
2011 Division 2 (11-14 years) Winner
Hannah Solomon (Christian Outreach College, Toowoomba)
“How have members of the Royal Family served in the Armed Forces? How do you think that experience has helped them in their roles?”
The English Monarchy has been in place for many centuries and has not only performed a duty to their people politically but also through their roles in the military.
It started with the current Duke of Edinburgh who was born as Prince Philip. In 1921 the Duke was Marshal of: the Royal Air Force in the United Kingdom; the Royal Australian Air Force; and the Royal New Zealand Air Force. He also joined the British Royal Navy in 1939 and actively served until 1952. During this time he also enrolled in the Second World War and married Queen Elizabeth not long after. Prince Philip remained in the Royal Air Force and also served as a pilot in 1952 and 1953.
In 1945 Queen Elizabeth II (left), a princess at the time, was a mechanic during Second World War as she was a part of the Auxiliary Territorial Service. She was the first female of the Royal Family to be a member of the Service. Marrying Prince Philip in 1947, in 1952 she accepted the role of head of Commonwealth after her father died.
The Duke of Gloucester, Prince Henry - Uncle of Queen Elizabeth II, held the title of Honorary Air Marshal in the Royal Air Force; while the Prince Edward - Duke of Kent (right) held the rank of Honorary Air Chief Marshal in the Royal Air Force. Separately the Duke of York served in the British Royal Navy for over 20 years.
In current times Prince William (left) is an officer in the British Army before he joined the Navy. After those roles, he was a Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force; he received his RAF pilot's wings in 2008 from his father - the Prince of Wales. The Prince of Wales conducted the ceremony as he held the rank of Air Chief Marshal in the Royal Air Force. He studied at the Royal Air Force College in 1971 for six months learning to fly jet aircraft. The Prince's other son Prince Harry is currently an officer in the British Army and a Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force.
It seems that serving in the British Armed Forces has helped the Royal Family's example by demonstrating patriotism. It has given the Royals a realisation of the danger of what people in other services may face on a daily basis and how they are fighting not just for themselves, but for their country. It might have also helped them to define discipline in their practical experience from serving. Interaction and people skills are also gained from this service and they may have developed a greater appreciation for others who are fighting for their country.
In conclusion, each of the Royals above has had to undergo some sort of training in order for them to serve in their respective military roles. During their time of service it would have put the member of the royal family in a different position to what they are used to. This would have come about during training where they needed to rely not only on an instructor but also other members of the corps or unit; for example Prince Charles learning to fly would have entrusted his life to his instructor. This would be a rare occurrence for the Prince or any other Royal who would be used to making decisions for themselves - back in their position of power in the palace the people of the Commonwealth likewise trust the Royals to do their job correctly. So, I believe it has been very beneficial in many ways for the Royal Family to have been in the Armed Forces.
The Official Page - The British Monarchy, 2011, The Royal Air Force, (online) Available at: www.royal.gov.uk
The Official Page - The British Monarchy, 2011, The Royal Family Serving in the Armed Forces, (online) Available at: http://www.royal.gov.uk
Wikipedia, 2011, Prince Philp, Duke of Edinburgh, (online) Available at: en.wikipedia.org
Wikipedia, 2011, File:RAF Mildenhall Logo.jpg, (online) Available at: en.wikipedia.org
Rhesus Negative, 2010, Queen Elizabeth II, (online) Available at: www.rhesusnegative.net
Vatican Assassins, Unknown year, English Jesuit Provincial Oversees England's Freemasonic Grand Maste, (online) Available at: www.vaticanassassins.org
News.com, 2011, In his Royal Navy uniform in 2008 after he joined up for a two-month training course, (online) Available at: www.news.com.au
Drumbeat, Unknown year, The official website of the British Army, (online) Available at: www.army.mod.uk