SYMPOSIUM: CONFRONTING BARRIERS TO THE COURTROOM FOR ANIMAL ADVOCATES (.pdf file - 146.97 KB)
Sponsored by the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund of New York University School of Law
On April 14, 2006, the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund of New York University School of Law hosted a symposium on how to overcome some common courtroom barriers faced by animal advocates. Panelists discussed cultural and legal transitions, legal standing for nonhuman animals, and potential causes of action. Symposium participants included prominent attorneys, authors, philosophers, and professors specializing in the field of animal protection law. The following articles have been adapted from transcripts of the symposium.
LINKING CULTURAL AND LEGAL TRANSITIONS
PANELISTS: Taimie Bryant, Una Chaudhuri, and Dale Jamieson
MODERATORS: Laura Ireland Moore and David J. Wolfson
In this discussion, panelists explore the many viewpoints society holds with respect to nonhuman animals. The discussion broadly covers ethics and what constitutes ethical behavior in this regard. The question dealt with is, largely, what is the appropriate ethical model to use when arguing that animals deserve better treatment and expanded rights? Unlike parallel movements for human civil rights or women’s equality, the animal rights movement has much greater hurdles to overcome when it comes to arguing that animals deserve equal treatment under the law. In an attempt to address this question, the dialogue touches upon many areas of human thought. The panelists take on diverse fields such as philosophy, science, anthropology, environmentalism, and feminism and use them to understand the past and present state of animal law. The analytical tools of these several disciplines are also applied to animal law in an attempt to develop a better model for the future.