Brooke Thompson is currently working as a law graduate in the Major Projects & Infrastructure group at Corrs Chambers Westgarth and is an External Fellow at the UQ Law School Centre for Public, International, and Comparative Law (CPICL)

Having previously completed her LLB at The University of Queensland, Brooke is undertaking research in the areas of Sharia law and legal pluralism at the CPICL.  Brooke also has interests in Islamic banking and finance.

Project title: The feasibility of legal pluralism in Australia's secular legal framework: Would Sharia inheritance laws be a viable exception?

Supervisors: Associate Professor Ann BlackAssociate Professor David Morrison

Project overview

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 (India, Canada and the United Kingdom) with similar legal frameworks to that of Australia, in order to elucidate a possible working model for Queensland. Finally, an analysis of both the theoretical and practical consequences of any system in Australia will be undertaken.