How Lawyers Can Help Animals
Providing opportunities for lawyers and academics to help animals
A-law has a standing team of legal volunteers (drawn from the legal profession, academics and students) who help us with our executive functions running the Student Group, publications, social media and coordinating our project work. However, we work with a much wider team of volunteers who help on an ad hoc basis, writing articles, analysing aspects of the law relating to animals, speaking to students, helping with specific projects for animal groups and contributing to legal training and events.
Read more below about how lawyers can help, be inspired by lawyers who have set up animal welfare groups and find out about how A-law can help lawyers to help animals.
THE ROLE OF LAWYERS IN ANIMAL PROTECTION
Practical ways to help animals
Lawyers can contribute to the animal protection community in a number of ways, including by:
- Contributing to discussions about the philosophies on which animal protection laws are based and pioneering work to ensure a better legal framework for animals.
- Helping to ensure that the debate about animal use in society is an informed one. Much cruelty to animals takes place behind the screen of commercial confidentiality. Lawyers can ensure that freedom of information laws are used to their full effect so that there is transparency within the system.
- Using variety of ‘soft law’ techniques, for example, the Advertising Standards Authority, the Market Research Society (which regulates opinion polls), the Press Complaints Commission and the Parliamentary Ombudsman to ensure that public debate about animal issues is conducted fairly.
- Getting involved in the process of law reform, for example, by responding to governmental consultations, lawyers can help draft legislation and ensure that animal protection legislation is interpreted with animal protection in mind.
- Ensuring that laws, however inadequate they may be, are enforced.
- Finally, lawyers have a key role in protecting the right to peaceful protest and freedom of speech, so that those working hard to protect animal interests are not stifled. Similarly, lawyers have a part to play in legal education so that people do not unwittingly fall on the wrong side of the law.
LAWYERS FOR ANIMAL WELFARE
The UK Centre of Animal Law was originally launched as 'Lawyers for Animal Welfare' to provide a forum for lawyers who wanted to improve animal protection by volunteering their legal skills and supporting others to do so. Since then the group has expanded into something much more than this and we have a wider legal educative role than ever before.
We are however still proud to showcase the work of many inspirational lawyers who dedicate their free time to form or lead (entirely voluntarily) animal welfare charities and contribute to their work.
We are also pleased to offer information and support to lawyers who want to make a difference outside the law from fundraising for A-law to adopting more animal friendly lifestyles at work through hospitality provisions to Corporate Social Responsibility policies.
You can find out more here about how lawyers make a difference in those areas too.
Pro bono and voluntary work
We are seeking legal professionals who wish to be part of a growing community of lawyers dedicated to improving the protection of animals through the law.
We are building up a network of lawyers who are prepared to provide voluntary advice and assistance to animal charities and NGO's, whether through pro bono advice or contributing skills to a particular project work.
We also welcome articles on animal law for our publications and blog, as well as input into our legal training and seminar program.
Whatever your area of practice, you can use your legal skills to help animals. The work that we do would not be possible without our dedicated team of volunteers who deliver A-law’s core services. IT, administrative, marketing, financial and all other kinds of non-legal skills are needed.
LEGAL TRAINING AND EVENTS
Can you help deliver legal training to animal groups and students?
Animals cannot speak for themselves. They rely on us to protect them. Whether through the criminal justice system, enforcement agencies, public or regulatory laws, it is important that animal interests are properly represented. Animals have no standing to challenge the decisions of public bodies when those decisions impact upon their welfare. Instead, they rely upon interested groups to ensure the law is applied correctly and fairly on their behalf.
A-law runs seminars and other training events so that those who have taken on this responsibility are provided with the right support to undertake this important work.
We also help organise legal speakers for university groups interested in animal law and are actively seeking speakers in a range of disciplines from public law, crime and media law to substantive animal law specialists. Help us to educate the next generation.
Alternatively, if you are still finding out more yourself, please come along to one of our seminars or other events to expand your knowledge in this area and network with other interested professionals, scientists, vets, academics and others who all contribute to strengthen existing animal protection law.
Find out more about A-law events and training.
Funds are needed desperately to deliver legal help, training, and support to animal welfare charities and NGOs, who would otherwise be unable to access these services.
Lawyers play a vital role in fundraising to support the work of the A-law. We invite the legal community to become part of the Animal Law network by raising funds through fundraising activities, corporate sponsorship, or donation.
We need your support to help raise funds to coordinate these efforts and ensure that animal interests are represented at the highest level.
All of our activities are funded by our members and private donations. We do not receive any funding from grant giving organisations. Membership is therefore vitally important to our work
As a member of A-law you will be contributing directly to our vital work. In addition you will be entitled to:
subscription to the UK Journal of Animal Law;
- free or reduced price entry for many A-law events and seminars;
- be added to our mailing list for the eMagazine, Animal Justice UK;
- regular updates about animal law news and events;
- opportunities (where available) to volunteer and use your legal skills to help animals;
- become part of a growing movement concerned with improving legal protections for animals;
- opportunity to attend and participate in trustee’s meetings and
- exclusive 20% discount code for 5m Publishing
Connect with us on social media
If you are interested in legal developments which affect animals, do follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram to get daily news and information about legal campaigns, events, legal decisions affecting animals and government proposals about animal law.
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT
We rely upon membership income and donations. Please join us or donate and support our work.