Legal pluralism, family personal laws, and the rejection of Shari'a in Australia: A case of multiple or "clashing" modernities?

Malcolm Voyce*, Adam Possamai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In some Western countries with Muslim minorities, there has been debate in the last few years about the role of Shari'a in the context of domestic family law. In Australia there has been a negative response to the adoption of Shari'a, as this form of law has been seen as divisive, patriarchal, and inconsistent with the notion of the rule of law. Underlying these responses to Shari'a has been the implication that Islamic law was/is backward and patriarchal whereas Western law was/is both secular and egalitarian. The aim of this article is to do three things: first, to show the extent to which matrimonial settlements by Muslims in divorce cases reflect a variety of personal practices and strategies toward Shari'a and Australian family law; second, to examine the values of Australian law and how law as a "form of practice" excludes Muslim values; and third, to situate this debate within the multiple modernity thesis and argue that, to move the matter further, we should look into working toward a new multifaith pragmatic modern project.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-353
Number of pages16
JournalDemocracy and Security
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011

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