Sharia poses problems, says judge
THE idea sharia could operate as part of Australian law was ''misconceived'' and minority practices that offend moral standards should be abandoned, the former High Court judge Sir Gerard Brennan said last night.
''No court could apply and no government could administer two parallel systems of law, especially if they reflect - as they inevitably would reflect - different fundamental standards,'' he said.
To do so would result in two legal systems and confirm dual cultures, Sir Gerard said during a lecture in honour of the former law professor Hal Wootten at the University of NSW.
''The democratic principle prescribes that the culture of the majority is determinative of the legal structure,'' he said. In Islamic law, he said - quoting the president of the Abu Dhabi Supreme Court - customs and legal reasoning had to agree with the Koran. But in Australian common law there was a gap between the requirement of the law and individual moral standards.