Law and Religion Research Group
The members of the Law and Religion Research Group are engaged in research which explores:
- The complex interaction between law and religion in the context of constitutional law and private law (from a comparative perspective) and public international law;
- The religious rights discourse within the context of domestic and international law;
- The cultural impact of religious and philosophical paradigms on the shape and scope of domestic and international legal frameworks dealing with religion.
- The normative development and enforcement strategies in the complex and multi-vectored area of law and religion·
The Group provides a forum for discussion, advice and support for staff and students, including our doctoral students. It also organises conferences, research seminars and workshops aiming to promote knowledge-sharing between academics and practitioners in the following areas of law:
Canon Law, Ecclesiastical Law, Islamic Law and Islamic Finance, Jewish Law, International Law, Religion and the State, Employment Law, Civil Law, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Legal History, Legal Theory
The Group operates in two distinct subfields, namely, law and religion as this is understood in Western legal thinking, namely the constitutional separation of law and religion, as well as the status of religion in international law (including international human rights law), and Islamic law. In both areas the School possesses recognised global experts.
The director of this Group is the editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. This is the leading journal in the field globally and published by Oxford University Press.
Brunel Law School publishes the Journal of Islamic State Practices in International Law (JISPIL), which is the only journal in its area of expertise. Three members of staff at Brunel are on the editorial board and editors-in-chief.
Dr Petkoff recently received funding from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on a project dealing with the ownership of religious places.
Dr Shahid is working on a Max Planck Institute-funded project on Islamic child and family law
The School has participated in at least 2 amicus briefs submitted by a leading group of scholars in law and religion-related litigation in the USA. The briefs were submitted to the US Supreme Court and the Brunel name and the Centre featured prominently there. Dr Petkoff and Professor Bantekas participated in this effort.
The Group organised several conferences in the past two years and in 2014 two can particularly stand out. The first was on Islamic family law, whereas the other concerned Islamic international law in historical perspective.
The Group hosted the International Law Association’s Islamic law group in 2011 and is the focal point for that group within the ILA
Relation to teaching and PhD research
The Law Schools runs two courses on Islamic law at LLM level currently, both of which are highly attended by students
The Law School, given its reputation in Islamic law, receives a large amount of applications from prospective candidates wishing to work within Islamic law. A number have recently graduated and have gone on to assume academic or other posts in their countries of origin in prestigious institutions.
Members of the Group, namely Dr Petkoff, Dr Shahid, Professors Rehman, Ssenyonjo and Bantekas have published widely in this area, both in the form of journal articles/book chapters as well as monographs. This output is significant and articles/book chapters are well over 40-50.