Renae Barker

Dr, BEc LLB Murd., PhD W.Aust.

  • The University of Western Australia (M253), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Renae Graduated from Murdoch University with a Bachelor’s degree in law with honours and Bachelor’s degree in economics. She subsequently completed her PhD at the University of Western Australia in 2014. Her thesis explored the development of the relationship between the state and religion in Australia from 1788 to modern Australia. She joined UWA as a lecture in 2013, having tutored at the university of a number of years.

Roles and responsibilities

Mooting Coordinator

Teaching overview

LAWS3334 Law and Religion
LAWS3391 Special Unit: Law and Religion

LAWS4101 Legal Process
LAWS5307 Special Unit: Mooting


Renae researches in the area of law and religion. Her particular areas of interest are religion and education, freedom of religion and state funding of religion.

Her current research focuses on the engagement of Muslim’s in the common law legal system. This includes the issue of the wearing of Islamic face veils (burqa and niqab) by witnesses and other participants in the court process.

Renae’s Phd thesis was titled ‘The changing relationship between the State and religion in Australia: 1788 to modern Australia. What has changed?, What is the same? And what does that tell us?’. It covered State restrictions on religious practice, religion and education and State funding of religion.

Previous positions

Anglican Diocese of Bunbury


  • Religion
  • Law and religion
  • Religion and education
  • Religion and public policy
  • Law and society

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Renae Barker is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Research Output 2006 2020

State and Religion: The Australian Story

Barker, R., Aug 2018, Australia: Routlege. 342 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

common law
legal system

Freedom of Religion without a Bill of Rights: Australia’s Peculiar Approach to tackling Freedom of Religion and other Human Rights Issues

Barker, R., 2020, (Accepted/In press) Freedom of Religion or Belief: Creating Constitutional Space for Fundamental Freedoms. Babie, P., Rochow, N. & Scharffs, B. (eds.).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter

It is not inevitable: The Future of Faith-Based Schools after Ruddock

Barker, R., 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : The Australasian Catholic Record. 97, 2

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Charting the Future of Religious Schools after the Ruddock Review by Understanding what came before

Barker, R., 6 Apr 2019, (Unpublished) Religious Freedom After Ruddock . Australia: The University of Queensland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paper

religious freedom

Explainer: could the Australian Christian Lobby be investigated for its Israel Folau fundraiser?

Barker, R., 26 Jun 2019, The Conversation.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Press / Media

Religious freedom for religious minorities

Renae Barker


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Should school uniforms be compulsory? We asked five experts

Renae Barker


2 media contributions

Press/Media: Press / Media

Who is the Australian Christian Lobby

Renae Barker


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media