Recently, The Bond University Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLE), together with Voiceless, the animals protection institute, held the sixth annual Animal Law Education Workshop at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers in Sydney.
The Workshop is an annual event which brings together animal law lecturers and researchers from across Australia and New Zealand.
The Workshop facilitates discussion on the latest developments and topical issues in animal law and policy, and encourages animal law educators to share experiences, ideas and resources for tertiary animal law teaching and learning.
Voiceless has sponsored the Workshop since its inception in 2014, as part of its support for the development of animal law in Australia.
“Voiceless believes animal law education is a crucial aspect of the animal protection social justice movement,” said Dr Meg Good, Animal Law and Education Manager at Voiceless.
“Teaching animal law to law students ensures that the next generation of change makers in law, government and politics have an understanding of the key role law plays in animal protection,” she said.
There are currently 15 Law Schools across Australia offering animal law electives.
Bond University’s CPLE and Voiceless co-produce freely available, high-quality Animal Law Education (ALE) resources for use in law schools around the world.
The resources include educational podcasts featuring animal law experts, presentations by Australian animal law academics, lists of useful resources, quizzes, and professionally developed tutorial activities.
“The Bond University Centre for Professional Legal Education is proud to partner with Voiceless on the ALE Program," said Professor Nick James, Executive Dean of the Bond University Faculty of Law and Director of the CPLE.
"We are thrilled to announce that we have just accepted three postgraduate students into our Masters and PhD programs focussing on animal law education."
The Workshop featured a diverse range of speakers, including Jordan Mathas-Carleton, lawyer at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, who discussed the progress of the Maurice Blackburn Animal Law Program, established in 2017.
“Maurice Blackburn is the leading social justice and plaintiff law firm in the country – so animal law is a natural progression for us, as animal protection is a social justice issue”, said Mr Mathas-Carleton.
The Program has largely focussed on using consumer law to hold negligent dog breeders to account.
The Workshop also featured presentations from new animal law firm K & R Animal Law, the RSPCA Australia, and academics from universities across Australia and New Zealand.
A number of PhD candidates presented on their research, including projects considering the legal status of animals under Australian law, the regulation of ‘working animals’, issues in wildlife management and processes for developing farmed animal welfare standards.