Country Profile: Australia

This Country Profile provides a basic overview of the legal history and institutional structures of the Commonwealth of Australia, based on research produced by GlobaLex at NYU Law School and the Library of Congress. Under Australia’s Constitution, Islamic law (sharīʿa or fiqh) has no legal status.

Country Background

Australia is located between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean. The capital of Australia is Canberra. The country’s population in 2016 was approximately 23 million. Australia is a predominantly Christian country, with about 23% of the population Protestant and 23% Roman Catholic.

Constitution & Legal Structure

Australia is referred to as a parliamentary democracy (Federal Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy. The system of government is common law based on the English model. There is an executive, legislative, and judicial branch.

Constitutional Status of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no constitutional status in Australia.

Jurisdiction(s) of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no official jurisdiction of operation in Australia.

Dominant School of Islamic Law

Australia has no official school of Islamic law. 

Sources of Law for Legal Research

Official Publications

 Unofficial Databases


For an extended list of legal resources for this country, see the Library of Congress’s Research Guide, and for a narrative review, see the GlobaLex Foreign Law Research Guide (most updated version, where available). The Constitution is available in the LOC Guide in its original language and at Constitute in English and Arabic translation. For full versions of past constitutions, amendments, and related legislation, see HeinOnline World Constitutions Illustrated or Oxford Constitutions of the World [subscription required for each].