Animal Rights, Philosophy & Ethics
We believe it is important to question the philosophies underpinning the animal welfare laws that have developed incrementally since the nineteenth century. We help shine a light on important debated and discussions about legal, ethical and philosophical approaches to animal protection to support learning in this important area.
Erin & Jeremy
The big questions! What we’re doing…
to contribute to the debate about animal rights, philosophy and ethics.
We are often asked if we are an animal welfare or an animal rights organisation. We are neither. As a lawyer led registered charity advancing education in, public knowledge about, and effective application of, the law relating to animal protection we believe it is important to contribute to debate about the philosophies behind law and to provide a forum for discussion about legal philosophy and ethical issues concerning our treatment of animals.
We will be bringing you the latest news about cases concerning personhood and the property status of animals, as well as debate and learning about issues such as utilitarian and rights based approaches to animal protection.
Legal & Political Representation
If animal interests are to be fully protected, there must be a mechanism in the law making machinery to ensure that those interests are recognised and taken into consideration. This means political representation of animal interests in the policy making process.
The Animal Welfare (Sentience) bill is currently the means by which the government seeks to introduce new measures to ensure that animal interests are taken into account in the policy making process. We want to see the bill include a prospective duty upon Ministers to take into account animal interests before policy is made. We also want assurance that any Animal Welfare Committee established to advise the government includes an appropriate range of expertise in law, ethics and animal welfare science and is not dominated by industry interest groups.
We also believe that it is critically important that animals are properly represented on the global stage. As with the domestic law making process, international law neeeds to recognise the intrinsic value of animals as sentient beings and to ensure that their interests are properly considered.
Over the coming months we will be bringing you the latest thinking about how animals can be properly represented within the UN infrastructure and at other key global institutions and we will be sharing our own views on these issues.
Who we are! Meet the people…
behind our Animal Rights, Philosophy & Ethics Working Group.
Jeremy is one of the co-founders of A-LAW. He is a barrister at Goldsmith Chambers and an Assistant Coroner. He has extensive civil liberties, immigration and public law experience.
Erin is a dedicated consultant with an LLM in Human Rights Law from The University of Edinburgh, specialising in the application of the core international human rights treaties.
Legal Personhood for Animals by Dr Joe Wills
Dr Joe Wills of the University of Leicester, introduces the concept of personhood and explores arguments that species other than humans should be recognised as legal persons.
Animal Welfare, Ethics & Science by Dr Gareth Spark
Dr Gareth Spark, of the University of East Anglia, explores the interface between animal law, ethics and science, and discusses how we weigh their intrinsic value and interests.
Representing Animals in Public Policy by Dr Steven McCulloch
Dr Steven McCulloch, of the University of Winchester, discusses the political representation of animals in thepolicy making process, and possible mechanisms for taking into account animal interests when policy decisions are being made.