The Aspects of the Conflict Between Shariah Law and the Australian Legal System
The Australian System of Law has been drafted from the common law of England and hence the guiding force is that of a judge-made law system. As per the concept of judge-made law, the common law should develop with case-based outcomes. In the simplest form, it can be understood that the law gets evolved from the judgments made in various courts of the country and finally it sets a precedent and gets followed in subsequent cases of similar types. Hence technically, the common is a continuously evolving law getting its shape from the experiences of the court as well the society. Later, the role of parliament came into the picture and several statute laws also became a part of common law.
Now, if Shariah Courts are being investigated; courts in a true sense are religious courts that decide the working of a state and the state law has no existence. Australian law possesses secular characteristics and is religion independent. The law promotes universal values of humanity and tolerance and prohibits any imposition of religion even though being a part of the English-speaking world with fundamentals borne out of Christian principles.
The law has a clear demarcation of sin and crime and in most cases, a sin might not fall under the category of crime. Also, the private lives of the citizens are considered a valued entity as per Australian Law and are free from any interference by the state. The sole purpose of the law is that smooth society and to regulate in such a way that all possibilities of harm to others could be avoided. Shariah law is not just a law but a source of principles that guides a person’s social as well as personal lives and non-followers are supposed to face punishment as per the rules of Shariah.
Now, when Sharia law is being explored; the law, in this case, is considered as the words of Allah from the holy book of the Qur’an and the Sunnah, as the traditions of Muhammad. As per Qur’an, Shariah is the pathway that is meant to be followed by adherents of Islam and hence is the right path. The very basis of this form of law is that of the religious platform of the Qur’an and hence in concept, can’t be changed or reinterpreted. This rigidity is quite in direct contrast to Australian Common Law which is very flexible in terms of usage and interpretation because of its continuously evolving nature.
The meaning of a law is interpreted in the courtroom and a case forms the basis of further application. And this common law can be revised through amendments in parliament. In short, the best way to describe Australian Common Law is dynamic. The case is quite opposite of Shariah Law as the law’s most positive feature is its static nature with the rigid scope and very much inconsistent with changing social mores and a society that believes in pluralism as well as democracy.