The Feasibility of Legal Pluralism in Australia’s Secular Framework – Would the Introduction of Sharia Inheritance Laws Be A Viable Exception?

Abstract

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 speech discusses the methodology and theory behind an investigation into Islamic inheritance law in Australia.  It also provides an overview of the Islamic succession system and the findings of a comparative analysis of Australia's inheritance laws and Islamic inheritance laws.

Biography

Brooke is a PhD candidate at the TC Beirne School of Law and a Research Scholar with the Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law.  Brooke's PhD project examines the extent to which Islamic inheritance laws may be efficaciously recognised within the Australian legal system.  The project examines Muslim behaviour that indicates a desire for formal accommodation of Islamic inheritance law, comparatively analyses the interaction with and conflict of the Islamic succession law system with the Australian (state-based) inheritance laws, and investigates how other common law countries manage Muslim communities' (their desire for and often practical use of their own) inheritance laws.  The project looks specifically at India, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Brooke completed a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Queensland and was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia.  Brooke practiced as a banking and finance solicitor at Corrs Chambers Westgarth, where she was also involved in the Middle East Practice Group before moving to a career advertising and publishing.  In addition to Islamic law, Brooke is interested in the areas of religious law, legal pluralism, multiculturalism and minority communities in Australia.