Islamic Law
February 13, 2009
Islamic law (Sharia) and New Zealand law: Problems, processes and potential pertaining to marriage and divorce.
What role does Islamic (Sharia) law play in NZ regarding marriage and divorce? Sharia and NZ law are different and sometimes contradictory. This project will collect data on how many NZ Muslims are in polygamous marriages, assess the current level of understanding of NZ law, provide clarification on the legal rights of the individuals as well as the impact of these relationships on various areas of NZ law. The UK, Canada and Australia will be used for comparative analysis. Peer-reviewed articles, law reform recommendations, a report to the Muslim community and a handbook to assist government departments are projected outcomes.




List of courses that I have experience teaching:

>Constitutional Law
>Corporate Entities
>Introduction to Law
>Legal Systems and Societies
>Legal Terminology in English
>Public Law
>Terrorism and International Law
>Grade 10 Modern World History
>Grade 9 History (IGSCE)
>Grade 8 Humanities (MYP)
>Grade 6 English


  Shaw, M International Law 5th ed (Cambridge: 2003)

"In the long march of mankind from the cave to the computer a central role has always been played by the idea of law – the idea that order is necessary and chaos inimical to a just and stable existence. Every society, whether it be large or small, powerful or weak, has created for itself a framework of principles within which to develop. What can be done, what cannot be done, permissible acts, forbidden acts, have all been spelt out within the consciousness of that community. Progress, with its inexplicable leaps and bounds, has always been based up on the group as men and women combine to pursue commonly accepted goals, whether these be hunting animals, growing food or simply making money. Law is that element which binds the members of the community together in their adherence to recognized values and standards… Law consists of a series of rules regulating behavior, and reflecting, to some extent, the ideas and preoccupations of the society within which it functions".



  • Williamson, M. "Geographical Indications, Biodiversity and Traditional Knowledge: obligations and opportunities for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" 26 (1) Arab Law Quarterly (2012), (Refereed Journal Article)

Full list of research outputs





The Legality of the Use of Force Against Afghanistan in 2001

The book examines the international law pertaining to the use of force by states, in general, and to the use of force in self-defence, in particular. The main question addressed is whether the use of force, which was purported to be in self-defence, by the United States, the United Kingdom and their allies against al Qaeda, the Taliban and Afghanistan, beginning on 7 October 2001, was lawful.

The book focuses not only on this specific use of force, but also on the changing nature of conflict, the definition of terrorism and on the historical evolution of limitations on the use of force.

The book challenges the common assumption that the use of force against Afghanistan was an example of states exercising their inherent right to self-defence. It argues that if this particular use of force is not challenged, it will lead to an expansion of the right of self-defence which will hinder rather than enhance international peace and security. Finally, this book draws on recent examples to illustrate the point that the use of force against Afghanistan could become a dangerous precedent for the use of force in self-defence.

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This article examines the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's legal obligations in one area of intellectual property law, namely, geographical indications (GI). It considers the opportunities for improving the existing legal framework from both a domestic and an international perspective. After an introduction, Section 2 presents a survey of the existing domestic and international laws pertaining to the protection of GIs. Section 3 outlines the relationship between GIs, biodiversity and traditional knowledge. Section 4 summarizes some of the latest developments and points of debate regarding increased protection of GIs. Finally, Section 5 puts forward several recommendations for improving the protection of GIs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.




This book review relates to a collection of essays published in honour of Sir Kenneth Keith to mark his retirement from the New Zealand Supreme Court, to honour his distinguished career as an academic, law reformer legal advisor, international advocate and judge, and to celebrate his appointment to the International Court of Justice -   the first and only New Zealander ever to be so appointed.

It is published in the Waikato Law Review, a refereed peer review journal published by the University of Waikato Te Piringa - Faculty of Law located in Hamilton, New Zealand. 




  • Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Foundation, Cortona Colloquium, held in Cortona, Italy from 19-21 October 2007

  • Australia and New Zealand Society of International Law (ANZSIL) Conference, Post-Graduate Student Workshop, held at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, June 2004

  • Seminar on International Courts and Tribunals for Practitioners from the South Pacific and East Asian Nations, held at the Victoria University of Wellington, in Wellington, New Zealand from 27 June – 3 July 2004
  • Prince Sultan University College for Women Research 2010-2011
  • PADET - The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs 2003-2004
  • University of Waikato –  Doctoral Scholarship 2002-2005
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