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Dr. Rajnaara Akhtar

Hello and Welcome to my ePortfolio!

I’m Rajnaara Akhtar and I have completed my PhD at the University of Warwick, School of Law.

My research area is the British Muslim Community and and Faith Based Alternative Dispute Resolution. My interest in this area was sparked by the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams’ lecture on Civil and Religious Law in England. Dr Williams’ comments relating to Islamic laws drew some criticism and my research seeks to identify the views of British Muslims where Muslim family law is concerned, and forums of dispute resolution.

I am a law graduate, and qualified as a solicitor before completing my Masters in Human Rights Law at the University of Nottingham. I am interested in a wide range of human rights issues both nationally and internationally.

Introduction to my Research

British Muslims and Transformative Processes of the Islamic Legal Traditions: Negotiating Law, Culture and Religion with Specific Reference to Islamic Family Law and Faith Based Alternative Dispute Resolution

As Britain’s second largest faith group and with numbers set to grow, the issue of Muslims in Britain and the impact of religious practices on the traditional British legal system have been an advancing debate since the 1970s.

The set up of the informal Shariah Councils in the 1970s as faith-based ADR mechanisms for applying Muslim religious laws to resolve personal conflicts have developed 30 years later into sophisticated tribunals set up in accordance with British laws while mediating on matters by utilizing Islamic legal principles. By bringing these proceedings within the British legal system through the utilization of its instruments, the application of non-state law has not only become a possibility but also a growing trend, giving rise to questions about legal pluralism.

This research looks at the transformative processes of the Islamic legal traditions historically and in the British context, and the consequences of it where dispute resolution is concerned. It also asks questions about the shift in the mindset of Britain’s Muslim population, considering issues of legal pluralism; and multiculturalism, identity and citizenship as central themes.

Further Details
Department: Law School
Commencement Date: September 2008
Supervisor: Professor Shaheen Sardar Ali
Rajnaara Akhtar 

Dr. Rajnaara Akhtar


Contact Details


School of Law

University of Warwick

Coventry CV4 7AL




r dot c dot akhtar at warwick dot ac dot uk