Kerstin Steiner

Kerstin Steiner
La Trobe University · La Trobe Law School

About

51
Publications
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115
Citations
Introduction
Dr. Kerstin Steiner is an internationally recognised award-winning researcher (writer, presenter and commentator) and teacher; leader and mentor with over 20 years’ experience in higher education in Australia, Asia and Europe. Her research sits at the intersection of law, religion, culture, politics and economics in Southeast Asia. She has published extensively on her area of research, presented at countless conferences and seminars and held visiting positions in numerous countries.

Publications

Publications (51)
Chapter
Malaysia has been struggling with the officially endorsed system of legal pluralism whereby Islamic and civil law coexist as perceived independent niches of the legal system causing significant legal, political, and social tension. One of the areas where those tensions between the different legal systems are apparent is in the area of human rights...
Article
Full-text available
Islam plays a pivotal political role in Southeast Asian countries, where the governments that have ruled since independence have been concerned with influencing the trajectory, content, hermeneutic and style of the legal traditions of their Muslim citizens and reconciling them with the states’ wider policy objectives. This contribution looks at one...
Article
Full-text available
Following the Global Financial Crisis of 2008–2009, there has been renewed interest in the diffusion and pluralization of financial ideas and practices, and in understanding how new ideas and practices can emerge to challenge the prevalence and diffusion of dominant ones. However, existing concepts and language in the broader literature on diffusio...
Book
Southeast Asia has the world’s largest Muslim population - Indonesia alone is home to more Muslims than the entire Middle East - yet nowhere in the region has a theocratic government emerged. Instead, Southeast Asian Islam is characterised by heterodox local traditions. Muslim societies today are torn between radical Islamist reformers calling for...
Book
Southeast Asia has the world’s largest Muslim population - Indonesia alone is home to more Muslims than the entire Middle East - yet nowhere in the region has a theocratic government emerged. Instead, Southeast Asian Islam is characterised by heterodox local traditions. Muslim societies today are torn between radical Islamist reformers calling for...
Conference Paper
Access to justice presents continuing challenges, in part because the professional paradox obliges most lawyers to pursue commercial and public duty goals (Cummings, 2011). Bar associations also reflect this paradox, as they advocate for lawyers' private interests but can also support access to justice for vulnerable and low-income persons. There i...
Conference Paper
This panel focuses on innovative and emerging trends for internationalizing teaching and learning in law and society through sustainable and just global engagements across the curriculum. Participants consider possibilities for internationalizing sociolegal studies across all levels of teaching and learning, including: courses and programs; general...
Presentation
Asia in general, and Southeast Asia in particular with the ASEAN countries leading the development, have become a global manufacturing destination owing to Asia’s lower production costs, the availability of labour and land, and its reputation as established manufacturing base. Governments of various Asian countries are furthermore increasing their...
Presentation
IFN Australia OnAir Roadshow, a series of carefully selected key topics, including emerging Islamic financial markets, packaged together to deliver to a global audience. In the backdrop of rising local and international demand for Islamic financial products and proactive measures by market participants — both domestic and foreign — to meet this de...
Presentation
After a period of turmoil, Malaysia’s new Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, has a tenuous hold on leadership. A politician of the UMNO (United Malays National Organisation) coalition, his party returns to power a few short years after their first ever electoral defeat when former Prime Minister Najib Razak was tied to the 1MDB scandal involving...
Chapter
Courts can play an important role in addressing issues of inequality, discrimination and gender injustice for women. The feminisation of the judiciary – both in its thin meaning of women's entrance into the profession, as well as its thicker forms of realising gender justice – is a core part of the agenda for gender equality. This volume acknowledg...
Chapter
Analysing human rights in the Asian context has to contend with several challenges. At the outset there is the question as to what constitutes Asia, there have been numerous variations of geographical and national boundaries. It also assumes a cohesiveness within the region that is not given, indeed it is a conglomerate of very different cultures,...
Book
Regional human rights mechanism are now in place covering nearly all five continents with the notable exception of Australia. Regional and international human rights protection are not meant to thwart each other. On the contrary, the regional protection of human rights is intended to back up and strengthen the international one by translating human...
Presentation
Islam plays a pivotal role in Southeast Asia and understanding the dynamics between Islam, law and the state are essential to understand the region. The analysis of Islam in Southeast Asia is a macro-comparison that challenges a few comparative legal paradigms. The presentation will critically engage with several comparative legal methodologies, f...
Conference Paper
Malaysia has been on a long and rocky road for women to be appointed to the Syariah bench with progress only starting in the last decade. Not that long ago, a NGO Shadow Report commenting on Malaysia’s Report on CEDAW in 2005 described the number of female judge as ‘dismal’ in the civil and Syariah legal system. Women had to overcome significant ch...
Article
Despite public perceptions of Brunei’s new Islamic criminal code, the problem is far from recent. The Sultan’s absolute power has made the current situation inevitable, Kerstin Steiner writes... The fulltext is available at https://www.policyforum.net/international-outrage-against-brunei-too-little-too-late/
Chapter
This book examines the presence of ethnic, religious, political, and ideational pluralities in Southeast Asian societies and how their respective constitutions respond to these pluralities. Countries covered in this book are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The chapters examin...
Article
The blog entry comments on the current state of Islam in Brunei with special reference to the developments in Islamic criminal law. The fulltext is available at https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2019/10/23/the-state-of-islam-in-brunei/
Presentation
Islam plays a pivotal political role in Southeast Asian countries whether in the Muslim majority countries or the Muslim minority countries such as the Philippines. Previous government policies on the Moros (Muslims are known as “Moros” (or Moors by the Spanish) have taken many different forms, from armed intervention; failed attempts at integratio...
Article
Islam plays a pivotal political role in Southeast Asian countries, where the governments that have ruled since independence have been concerned with influencing the trajectory, content, hermeneutic and style of the legal traditions of their Muslim citizens and reconciling them with the states’ wider policy objectives. This contribution looks at one...
Article
Malaysia is a multiracial and multireligious society, with an intricate relationship between its different ethnicities, religions, and the state, which is often politically, socially, and legally loaded. The paper analyses the relationship between religion, law, and politics in Malaysia, which has been contentious since independence. There is no po...
Conference Paper
Malaysia is a multi-racial and multi-religious society, with an intricate relationship between its different ethnicities, religions and the state, which is often politically, socially and legally loaded. There is no consensus as to how this relationship should conceptualised. In recent years there has been an increasing trend towards the Islamisat...
Presentation
Islam plays a pivotal political role in Southeast Asian countries whether in the Muslim majority countries or the Muslim minority countries such as the Philippines. Previous government policies on the Moros (Muslims are known as ‘Moros’ or Moors by the Spanish) have taken many different forms, from armed intervention; failed attempts at integration...
Presentation
Full-text available
Corporate governance and directors' duues have received significant aaennon in Malaysia over the last three decades. In the wake of the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997, major legislaave and insstuuonal reforms were iniiated in order to strengthen the regulaaon and overseeing of the corporate sector. Ten years later the Global Financial Crisis 2008 e...
Presentation
Full-text available
Malaysia’s society is multiracial and multi‐religious in nature, comprising Muslims (61.3% of the population), Buddhists (19.8%), Christian (9.2%) and Hindus (6.3%). In this multi‐religious context, Islam plays an important factor in Malaysia’s social, cultural, political and legal framework. Over the last decades, Malaysia has been struggling wit...
Presentation
Full-text available
Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has been charged after he was arrested in an anti-corruption investigation. He is suspected in a corruption scandal in which more than 4 billions US dollars have gone missing from a state fund Najib Razak set up 9 years ago. The 1MDB scandal as it is known caused him to lose power in a shock election in...
Article
Full-text available
Special Issue on this topic. In their specific local contexts, state- and non-state projects of bureaucratising Islam are driven by very different socio-political motivations and conditioned by equally different (albeit often interconnected and overlapping) historical trajectories and their discursive substrates. In this special issue, we examine t...
Presentation
Full-text available
In 2015, allegations of mismanagement of funds in the state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhard (1MDB) surfaced. 1MDB was set up in 2009 when Prime Minister Najib Razak came into office, and was supposed to oversee Kuala Lumpur’s transformation into a thriving commercial hub. The scandal has triggered a national and international ‘crisis...
Chapter
Malaysia ist in einer komplexen Phase der Neuorientierung. Es müssen Strategien entwickelt werden, um auf die Herausforderungen zu reagieren, die sich durch die Einführung und Ausweitung religiöser Gesetze in einer pluralistisch-demokratischen Gesellschaft ergeben. Das Land hat etwa 28,3 Millionen Einwohner. Es ist geprägt durch eine multiethnisch...
Chapter
In 2015, allegations of mismanagement of funds in the state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) surfaced. The scandal has triggered a national and international ‘crisis of confidence’ undermining trust in the current political regime to allow an impartial and transparent investigation into this matter. Criticisms, including from the...
Presentation
Roundtable discussion for the Malaysian Progressives in Australia (MPOZ), Melbourne charter. On the proposed changes to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, RU355. You can see the summary at https://www.mpozaustralia.org/summary-of-ruu355-meeting/
Presentation
Full-text available
In 2015, allegations of mismanagement of funds in the state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhard (1MDB) surfaced. 1MDB was set up in 2009 when Prime Minister Najib Razak came into office, and was supposed to oversee Kuala Lumpur’s transformation into a thriving commercial hub. The scandal has triggered a national and international ‘crisis...
Article
Efforts to expand the application of Islamic criminal law in Muslim majority states to implement hudud laws present governments with difficult choices between modern human rights norms and conservative local understandings of Islamic tradition. The governments of Muslim majority countries in Southeast Asia used to be very reluctant to embrace hudud...
Presentation
Do organisations need to reassess the implications of doing business in a region that risks losing its political credibility? The interview is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLFL7UJFmm0&index=2&list=PLVhjskAajvy_Lr1QNJkFH8yJllXN2M_gW
Presentation
Last year, The Wall Street discovered evidence of potential corruption involving Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. He was accused of channelling over RM2.67 billion, which is about $700 million, from 1MDB, a government-run strategic development company, to his personal bank accounts. The event triggered widespread criticisms among Malaysians, w...
Presentation
There’s a new economic juggernaut on the rise - the Halal economy. But it’s steeped in opportunities as well as challenges. See the interview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLVhjskAajvy_Lr1QNJkFH8yJllXN2M_gW&v=tE6mBCV6Cqg
Presentation
Under Islamic law a man can divorce his wife through a ’talaq’ – but what does that mean for the couple if they married under secular law? Dr Kerstin Steiner discusses the challenges of plural legal systems. The interview is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1ubKY5y9LI&index=4&list=PLVhjskAajvy_Lr1QNJkFH8yJllXN2M_gW
Chapter
In May 2011, the HRRC published the Rule of Law for Human Rights in the ASEAN Region: A Base-line Study, the first regional study on the rule of law. This ground-breaking report presented a snapshot of the legal landscape on rule of law in the context of human rights in each of the ten Member States at that time and provided a comparative assessmen...
Article
This article investigates the role of the state and state-sanctioned law in governing religion in Singapore. As in many other modern societies, the relationship between the secular state and religion is frequently the location of intense contest. In Singapore, that contest is between, on the one hand, the central power that controls Islamic law and...
Chapter
This chapter will explore how comparative law is used in the Syariah courts of Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei. The focus is on the different sources of law used in the Syariah courts and the style of reasoning relied upon to answer legal question. It examines selected cases from each jurisdiction, referring to various arguably ‘foreign’ legal sour...
Presentation
This week on Vantage Point, we look at how Islamic finance, in particular the role of Zakat, is used as an instrument for economic and social justice. As the development of Zakat in Malaysia becomes more centralized and institutionalized to suit the financial, legal and political systems, how can it be managed and distributed more efficiently for t...
Article
This article examines the recent, groundbreaking decision of the Ipoh High Court in Perak in the case of Indira Gandhi concerning the unilateral conversion of children by one parent without the consent of the other. On 25 July 2013, Judicial Commissioner Lee Swee Seng may have started a new approach towards the issue of unilateral conversion of chi...
Chapter
Introduction Zakat is one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith; the fundamental obligations that all Muslims have to fulfil under sharî’ah (Islamic law). With the development of Islam into a transnational religion, norms such as zakat, which originated in the Middle East, have spread throughout the world and have become global scripts. Zakat is...
Article
The educational policies of the Singapore government are driven by the needs of a modern knowledge-based society and economic development, with the state advocating modernity while the Muslim minority, arguably, appeared to be caught in tradition and holding on to “old fashioned” education. However, whether the new attempts at modernizing madrasah...
Article
This journal article will examine the political and legal framework that has been utilized in the discourse between the Singaporean state and the Muslim minority in Singapore. Using a case study of the Muslim minority, it will argue that Singaporean state vigilant polices the delineation between politics and religion and any transgression will res...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
The project investigates the relationship between Islam, law and the state in different geopolitical contexts in Southeast Asia.