Topic: The feasibility of legal pluralism in Australia's secular framework - would the introduction of Sharia inheritance laws be a viable exception?

Presenter: Brooke Thompson - MPhil Candidate, TC Beirne School of Law

Many of Australia's growing number of Muslims feel strongly that Australia's secular laws do not adequately serve their religious interests. In March 2013 the Inquiry into Migration and Multiculturalism in Australia was tabled. In response to over one hundred submissions received by the Joint Standing Committee on Migration, an entire chapter of the Inquiry is dedicated to discussion of the compatibility of Australia's legal system with Sharia law. The Committee was urged to consider three core areas: family law, succession and Halal certification. 

This thesis focuses on researching the feasibility of legal pluralism in Australia's secular framework, and the possible introduction of Sharia inheritance law. The project will evaluate the current make up of the Australian Muslim community, previous and past government's response to calls for legal pluralism, and the problems Muslims face regarding inheritance law in Australia. A comparative study will be undertaken on three countries with similar legal frameworks to that of Australia, in order to elucidate a possible working model for Queensland. This seminar will focus on a comparative study of the Islamic personal laws currently in force in India, and present a number of important take home lessons that must be considered in the Australian context.

All welcome, please register by emailing Beth Williams.

Contact: Beth Williams, ph: (334) 69350, email:

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