• 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 Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 2006 2018

State and Religion: The Australian Story

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

Research output: Book/ReportBook

common law
legal system

Of burqas (and niqabs) in courtrooms: the neglected women's voice

Barker, R., Sep 2018, Research Handbook in Law and Religion . Ahdar, R. (ed.). 1 ed. United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing, p. 397-419

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter

Transparency is the way forward for religious exemptions to anti-discrimination laws

Barker, R., 15 Oct 2018, ABC Religion & Ethics (online)

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Why Australia needs a Religious Discrimination Act

Barker, R., 25 Oct 2018, The Conversation

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Burqas and Niqabs in the courtroom: Finding practical solutions

Barker, R., 2017, In : Australian Law Journal. 91, 2, p. 225-243

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

administration of justice
common law
case law

Press / Media

Can a child consent to the practice pf religious beliefs?

Renae Barker


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

The Danish Burka Ban

Renae Barker


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Freedom of Religion and Secularism in Australia

Renae Barker


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Trust Me, I’m and Expert

Renae Barker


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Burqas in the Court Room

Renae Barker


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media