RIGHTS OF NATURE WEBINAR
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SHOULD NATURE HAVE RIGHTS?
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ELASA ANNUAL AND STUDENT CONFERENCE
Coming up this week is the Environmental Law Association of South Africa (ELASA) Annual and Student Conference. This year it is being hosted together with the Global Environmental Law Centre at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). The theme for the conference is “Celebrating Desmond Tutu in an era of transition”.
Animal Law Reform South Africa will be involved in the Keynote Panel for the Student Conference held on 30th September from 15h30 – 17h00 entitled: “Expanding the Circle of Ubuntu to include Animals.”
The Panel centres around an upcoming book co-edited by two of ALRSA’s directors, Professor Melanie Murcott and Amy P. Wilson. The book is entitled: “Animal Law and Welfare in South Africa” and will be published in 2023 by CRC Press, Routledge. ALRSA co-founder and director, Professor David Bilchitz will also be contributing to the book and presenting on the Panel.
The event is held as follows: on 29 to 30 Sept – Annual Conference (hybrid) and 30 Sept to 1 Oct – Student Conference (hybrid). Email any queries to: email@example.com. For more information and registration see: https://tinyurl. com/ elasa2022
“We’re part of nature. Yet we alone can act. Our destiny must be as guardians of the earth, not users and abusers of the only home we have. We all have a responsibility to learn how to live and develop sustainably. In a world of finite resources. We must make peace with this planet.” – Desmond Tutu (2009)
WEBINAR ON ANIMAL LAW!
On 17 August 2022, Animal Law Reform South Africa’s Executive Director, Amy P. Wilson presented a webinar titled:
“From Ants to Elephants: Protecting the Interests of Nonhuman and Human Animals through Animal Law in South Africa.”
The event was hosted by the Global Environmental Law Centre (GELC) at the University of the Western Cape.
Despite the importance of nonhuman animals to South Africa as a country, “Animal Law” is still relatively unknown and misunderstood field of law. This webinar will aim to provide a high-level introduction to and overview of this exciting, complex and burgeoning area as well as its practicalities in the South African context. It will do so through selected topics such as highlighting the intersection of animal law with other laws and legal areas (including environmental law, family law, consumer protection, and others). It will explore the idea of animal protection as an issue of social justice and the interconnectedness with human rights and constitutional law. It will explain some of the work being done by animal lawyers in this area, recent legislative and policy developments, examples of litigation and key case law as well as recent animal law education initiatives.
It will also highlight the impacts of scientific, technological and foreign law developments. Specifically, it will aim to illustrate how the current legal and policy frameworks fail to adequately provide for all beings we share our planet with and fail to recognise the interconnectedness of these stakeholders – rather promoting and supporting harmful ideas and industries. It will assist attendees in understanding the critical need for this specialised area of law and the importance of the work of animal lawyers, particularly in light of the current and emerging global crises. It will introduce some of the complexities and difficulties in navigating this area in the country as well as provide proposals and opportunities of animal law reform in South Africa.
For more information on the Webinar, please see: https://www.uwc.ac.za/news-and-announcements/events/from-of-ants-to-elephants-protecting-the-interests-of-nonhuman-and-human-animals-through-animal-law-in-south-africa
“BODIES ON THE LINE:
Exploring the Intersection of Violence Against Women and Animals”
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ANIMAL LAW VISIONS FOR THE FUTURE!
Join leading animal advocates, scientists and lawyers explore how law can secure a better world for animals. The UK Centre for Animal Law and UFAW are hosting a Conference entitled: “Animal Law: Visions of the Future” from 18th – 22nd July 2022. This fully online Conference is in commemoration of 200 years since the “Martin’s Act” was passed in the UK. Speakers from across the world will be sharing national developments and identifying the challenges ahead.
Animal Law Reform South Africa’s co-founders and directors, Amy P. Wilson and Professor David Bilchitz will be presenting on Day 2 of the Conference at 3pm SA Time on “Animal Law in South Africa”. Their presentation will explore the development of animal law in South Africa and the modern landscape for animal protection. They will highlight existing realities, important advances and discuss future challenges.
This is bound to be an interesting and exciting event for those interested in animal protection, animal law and related issues. We encourage you to attend – registration is required. Subsidies and discounted tickets are available.
Read more about the Conference here.
A Rights-based Green Recovery Post COVID-19:
Where legal and policy efforts to further Animal Wellbeing, Social Justice and a Healthy Environment meet
Animal Law Reform South Africa was pleased present an exciting panel at the Public Interest Law Gathering (PILG) in October 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic, along with our imminent climate crisis, has brought the extent to which humans, non-human animals and the environment are connected into sharp focus. In considering how to recover as a country post-Covid 19, it is critical for this interconnection to be recognised in the application of law and policy. This panel will discuss how policy efforts to further animal wellbeing, social justice, and environmental sustainability have the potential to be mutually reinforcing when imagining and advocating for an inclusive rights-based green recovery post COVID-19.
The event was held on Thursday, 14 October 2021 at 11:15am – 12:45pm SAST via Zoom as part of PILG.
Our speakers brought a range of expertise on intersectional issues:
- Dr Melanie Murcott –Senior Lecturer in the Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (Administrative Law and Environmental Law)
- Tozie Zokufa – Executive Director of the Coalition for African Animal Welfare Organisations
- Kirsten Youens – Attorney and Executive Director of ALL RISE Attorneys for climate and environmental justice
The session was moderated by Lara Wallis (former Executive Director of Animal Law Reform South Africa).
“Seaspiracy” Panel Discussion
Animal Law Reform South Africa was pleased to collaborate and partner with the Environmental Law Association of South Africa (ELA) for an expert panel discussion on the ground-breaking documentary “Seaspiracy”.
The event was held on 24 June 2021 at 7pm SAST via Zoom as part of the ELA Streaming Club series.
The speakers were three women working in different ways to protect aquatic animals and their environments in South Africa, the USA and beyond:
- Professor Kathy Hessler (Clinical Law Professor and Director of Aquatic Animal Law Initiative at Lewis & Clark Law School)
- Prathna Singh (Director of non-profit Ban Animal Trading) and
- Amy P. Wilson (ALRSA’s co-founder and Executive Director and former Fellow of the Aquatic Animal Law Initiative).
The session was be moderated by Dr. Melanie Murcott (Law Professor at the University of Pretoria) and Tokyo Ndlela (Practising Attorney), both members of the ELA.
For more information, check out the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/514463966357125
How Litigation against Zoos is Unlocking Legal Rights for Animals Globally
Animal Law Reform South Africa and The South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law (a centre of the University of Johannesburg), hosted an online Seminar titled:
‘Uncaging Rights: How Litigation against Zoos is Unlocking Legal Rights for Animals Globally’
The event was held online on 26 May 2021 at 17h30 – 19h30 (South African time – GMT plus 2). The recording of the Seminar can be found on our YouTube Channel.
Our amazing Panelists included a group of international legal experts:
- Professor Steven Wise (USA)
- Dr Alok Hisarwala Gupta (India)
- Owais Awan (Pakistan)
- Macarena Montes Franceschini (Chile)
- Professor Bonita Meyersfeld (South Africa)
Last year, a ground-breaking judgment explicitly recognizing the rights of animals was released by the Islamabad High Court in Pakistan when a case was brought before it relating to captive zoo animals kept in terrible conditions. Similarly, courts around the world including in the United States, Brazil, Argentina, India and others, are being (or have been) approached to adjudicate on similar applications to release animals from captivity in zoos.
These cases have not only drawn public attention to these issues, but stimulated much innovative legal advocacy. While some of these cases have not been successful, where they have, the judgments have pushed the traditional boundaries insofar as they relate to the legal recognition of certain rights of animals. Many of these cases draw from and recognize developments in other jurisdictions, suggesting the emergence of a transnational judicial dialogue in this area.
This burgeoning trend of cases centering captive animals in zoos as a focal point for legal developments is fascinating and merits attention.
This legal seminar sought to place the spotlight on these developments and asked the following questions:
- Why are cases dealing with captive animals being chosen by animal advocates as the sites of challenge for unacceptable treatment?
- What are the legal approaches being used to argue for the release of captive animals in various jurisdictions?
- What are the arguments that courts have used where animals have been successfully released or rehabilitated?
- What are the arguments courts have used to reject applications to release animals?
- Is there an emerging transnational body of jurisprudence in this area or is the reasoning particular to specific jurisdictions?
- What are the optimal remedies that courts are asked to give when addressing captive animals?
- What can be learnt from comparing and contrasting these cases in these different jurisdictions about the role of litigation in advancing animal rights?
- What opportunities do these developments hold for the advancement of animal protection in other areas?
For additional information, please check our Facebook Event Page.
“WHAT IS ANIMAL LAW?”
Hosted by Animal Law Reform South Africa online on 22 July 2020 at 18h00 SAST.
While most people would have heard of different branches of law – environmental law; constitutional law; contract law; family law; international law, etc. – one thing that we at ALRSA get asked all the time is – What exactly is “Animal Law”?
In short – while there is no universal definition – Animal law includes all facets of the law and policy including but not limited to legislative, judicial and executive that relate to, consider and interact with the interests and issues of non-human animals or the interests of humans with respect to animals. So one could say it encompasses ALL of the above mentioned areas of law – and various others.
Understanding what Animal Law is, is an important first step to incorporating it meaningfully into the existing animal protection movement and thus we thought it would be an ideal topic for our very first Webinar. And who better to explain what Animal Law is, than the “Mother of Animal Law” herself, Professor Joyce Tischler.
Animal Law Reform South Africa invites you to join us on 22 July at 18h00 SAST for an Educational Online Session exploring the question “What is Animal Law”?
In the past forty years, a new field of the law has emerged: animal law. It is a combination of statutory and case law in which the nature – legal, social or biological – of nonhuman animals is the defining factor.
Animal law encompasses companion animals, wildlife, animals used in entertainment, animals used for food and research and others.
The cases brought within the realm of animal law encourage us to consider whether and when the interests of animals matter. Is our society ready for lawyers to be representing those interests? Can we find a balance between the interests of humans who use animals for a variety of purposes and the interests and needs of the animals?
Registration for the event is required, free of charge. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot and receive the Zoom link. The session will be an hour long from 18h00 to 19h00 with allocated time for questions and will be moderated by Amy P. Wilson, Director of ALRSA. The session will be recorded.
About Professor Tischler:
Attorney, Joyce Tischler has devoted her career to advancing the field of animal law. In 1979, Joyce co-founded the first U.S. nonprofit dedicated to protecting animals using the legal system, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF). She served as the ALDF’s executive director for 25 years and then, its general counsel until her retirement from ALDF in the spring of 2019.
Today, Joyce is Professor of Practice in Animal Law at the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland, OR. She teaches Industrial Animal Agriculture Law and Policy and the Fundamentals of Animal Law (survey course). She co-authored Animal Law: New Perspectives on Teaching Traditional Law, and is now co-authoring a first-of-its-kind casebook on industrial animal agriculture law.