Religion, Law And Governance In South East Asia

all organisers_2

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia : 29th - 31st January 2010

International Conference on Religion, Law And Governance In South East Asia


Jointly organised by

  • International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia.
  • International Center for Law & Religion Studies, Brigham Young University, USA.
  • Faculty of Law, University of Malaya, Malaysia.
  • Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Amity University, India.
  • International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies, University of Milan, Italy.

dpm_keynoteWelcome and Keynote Address by YAB Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak (delivered by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia)


click here to download Full Text of the Keynote Address in PDF format


Watch Keynote address video


[conference pictures]




The conference featured 25 speakers from 20 countries and 250 participants. It was jointly organised by IAIS Malaysia, the International Center for Law and Religion at Brigham Young University (United States), the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies of the Università degli Studi at Milan (Italy), the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies at Amity University (India), and the Faculty of Law at Kuala Lumpur’s University of Malaya. The event was hosted jointly by IAIS Malaysia and the Faculty of Law of the University of Malaya.
Among the main objectives of this conference had been:

  • the generation of better understanding of the roles religion is playing in the laws and policies of governments in Southeast Asia;
  • the identification of commonalities and differences among various legal and judicial systems, as well as the constitutions, in the countries of Southeast Asia.;
  • the ascertaining of certain critical issues impacting the lives of the people, and the state of human rights in these countries.
  • and the formulation of and proposition of law reform and practical policy recommendations that may realistically deliver positive outcomes.


Some of the other issues raised during the deliberations involved the balancing of unity and diversity in the Southeast Asian experience. Some scholars argued that Southeast Asia’s diversity nevertheless is bound by many commonalities, one of which is constitutionalism. Constitutionalism recognises freedom of religion, which, however, is today shaped by religious revival which defines public opinion.

aw and Governance In Southeast Asia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia : 29th - 31st January 2010

DAY ONE: Friday January 29th 2010 (Venue: IAIS Malaysia)

5:00 pm Registration of Participants

6:00 pm Reception

7:25 pm Maghrib Prayer

7:45 pm Inaugural Session:

Religion, Law and Governance in Southeast Asia: A Comparative Overview

Welcome: Emeritus Professor Dr Osman Bakar (Deputy CEO, IAIS)

Prof. Dr. Mohammad Hashim Kamali (Chairman/CEO IAIS)

A Comparative Overview

Prof. Dr. Mohammad Hashim Kamali (Chairman/CEO IAIS)

“Religion, Law and Governance: An Overview”

Professor Dr. Tahir Mahmood

“Religion-State Relations in Southeast Asia: An Overview”

Professor Silvio Ferrari

“Identity Providers: Religions and Their Competitors”

Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr.

“The Role of Religion and Law in Fostering Good Governance”

Post–Inaugural Reception

9:30 pm Coffee/Tea

DAY TWO: Saturday January 30th 2010

8:30am Registration of Participants

09:45am-12:00pm Plenary Session I: Theoretical and Constitutional Issues

(Venue: IAIS Malaysia)

Co-Chairs: Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi

and Professor Gerhard Robbers

Professor Dr. Abdul Aziz Bari “Religion, Law and Governance in Malaysia: A Constitutional Perspective”

Professor Carolyn M. Evans “Religion, Law and Governance: Comparative & Human Rights Perspectives”

Professor Mohammad Hashim Kamali “Constitutionalism and Democracy: An Islamic Perspective”

12:00pm - 01:15 pm Lunch at IAIS Malaysia (Venue: IAIS Malaysia)

01:15pm - 01:45pm Bus transfer to Law Faculty, University of Malaya & Prayer

01:45pm - 03:30pm Regional Perspectives on Religion, Law and Governance

Parallel Sessions at Law Faculty Building (Venue: University of Malaya)

Session 1: Indonesia

Co-Chairs: Tan Sri Professor Mohammad Kamal Hassan (Former Rector, IIUM)

Professor Robert Smith (Brigham Young University)

Dr. Bahtiar Effendy “Islam and the State in the Indonesian Experience”

Prof. Tore Lindholm “Religion and Law in Indonesia: An Outside Perspective”

Session 2: Thailand, Philippines, and Singapore

Co-Chairs: Professor Javaid Rehman (Brunei University, London)
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