Reforming personal laws: Dr Farrah Ahmed

Dr Farrah Ahmed is an Associate Professor at Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne. Before this, she was a Lecturer in Law at the Queen’s College, University of Oxford.


Dr Farrah  talk  defend a proposal that seeks to address the stalemate that has arisen in Indian family law from the tension between a constitutional directive to enact a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and the deep concerns about the UCC as well as how it is debated. It will defend the implementation of a UCC in India supplemented by a well-regulated state-recognised regime of religious ADR. The hallmark of this proposal, setting it apart from informal dispute resolution systems already widely practised in India (in khap panchayats, for instance), is that its outcomes would be recognised and enforced by the state if minimum thresholds of justice and fairness are met. It is hoped that a proposal of this kind would help the many citizens who lack access to affordable, speedy and accessible justice.

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Farrah’s research spans public law, legal theory and family law. Her recent work on constitutional statutes, religious freedom, the doctrine of legitimate expectations, the duty to give reasons, social rights adjudication and religious tribunals has been published in the Cambridge Law Journal, the Modern Law Review, the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Public Law, and Child and Family Law Quarterly. Her book Religious Freedom under the Personal Law System was published by Oxford University Press in 2016
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