How Religious Arbitration Could Enhance Personal Autonomy

Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, Vol. 1, No. 2 (2012), pp. 424–445

U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 637

42 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2012 Last revised: 16 May 2013

Farrah Ahmed

Melbourne Law School

S. Luk

Independent

Date Written: June 4, 2012

Abstract

The public debate on religious arbitration often assumes that certain liberal autonomy-based arguments against state recognition of religious arbitration in family law matters are conclusive, ie that religious arbitration necessarily harms personal autonomy. This article challenges that assumption and highlights the autonomy-enhancing potential of religious arbitration. We argue that the state recognition of religious arbitration has the potential to enhance autonomy by facilitating the option of religious practice. We argue that religious arbitration has the potential to enhance the autonomy of religious persons by providing them access to religious expertise. Finally, we indicate how the recognition of religious arbitration protects the autonomy of some by keeping them from a possible autonomy-diminishing alternative.

Keywords: religious arbitration, religious freedom, sharia, personal autonomy, family law, religious tribunals, shariah, legal pluralism

Suggested Citation

Ahmed, Farrah and Luk, S., How Religious Arbitration Could Enhance Personal Autonomy (June 4, 2012). Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, Vol. 1, No. 2 (2012), pp. 424–445; U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 637. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2124214

Farrah Ahmed (Contact Author)

Melbourne Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/melbourne-law-school/community/our-staff/staff-profile/username/Farrah

S. Luk

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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