Stanford Journal of Animal Law & Policy (SJALP)

Share |
Country of Origin:  United States
Summary: The Journal of Animal Law & Policy was founded in August 2007 to provide a high-quality, widely accessible forum for the publication and discussion of animal law scholarship. The Journal of Animal Law and Policy went on hiatus beginning Fall 2014. The SJALP website states that it will continue to have the website accessible. For more on the journal, go to the SJALP web page.

A Brief History of Animal Law, Part II (1985 – 2011), Joyce Tischler, 5 Stan. J. Animal L. & Pol'y 27 (2012).

This article traces the growth of the field of animal law from 1985 to the present. It tracks the effort by attorneys and law students in the United States and abroad to institutionalize animal law classes, scholarly conferences, animal law sections in state, local, and regional bar associations, as well as the American Bar Association. It provides a review of efforts to spearhead lawsuits, legislative enactments, initiatives, and other means to gain greater protections for animals. Section II of the article describes the development of an institutional structure in various sectors of the legal community. Section III presents a review of landmark lawsuits and legislation. The article concludes with a summary of the major lessons that have been learned.


Protection for the Powerless: Political Economy History Lessons for the Animal Welfare Movement, Jerry L. Anderson, 4 Stan. J. Animal L. & Pol'y 1 (2011).


In the last several decades, animal agriculture has experienced a dramatic shift in production methods, from family farms to concentrated industrial operations, with societal consequences comparable to the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century. The new confinement operations raise significant moral questions regarding the humane treatment of animals subject to modern methods that emphasize economics over animal welfare. The success of the animal welfare movement, however, hinges on whether society will adopt regulations, based on moral considerations, that are directly opposed to its economic self-interest. The situation is remarkably similar to the plight of child laborers caught in the transformation of manufacturing methods during the Industrial Revolution. This article uses the history of child labor reform to construct a model for how society enacts protections for politically powerless groups, such as children and animals. Using the insights of new social movement theory, the article concludes that animal welfare reform will require a complex mixture of resources, including the difficult task of norm development. While the path to such reform is long, the child labor history shows that success is possible

Responsibility in the "Sport of Kings": Imposing an Affirmative Duty of Care on the Primary Financial Beneficiaries of the Thoroughbred Horseracing Industry, Caroline L. Mayberger, 4 Stan. J. Animal L. & Pol'y 64 (2011).

Horseracing industry participants must be held accountable for the wellbeing of retired racehorses. In Part I of this article, I explore the historic role of the horse in American society, and explain how “unwanted horses” become neglected, abused, abandoned, or shipped across U.S. borders to be slaughtered. In Part II, I address the unique susceptibility of thoroughbred racehorses to becoming unwanted horses, and how the wealth and glamour associated with horseracing serves to mask the problem. In Part III, I outline the legislation pertaining to horseracing, arguing that it does not adequately ensure the welfare of ex-racehorses. In Part IV, I explain that the burden for caring for these horses falls to under-funded private horse Rescue/Adoption/Retraining facilities (hereinafter “RAR facilities”). In Parts V and VI, I employ a loss-spreading rationale and the reasoning behind the “special relationship” doctrine, contending that the cost of providing adequate funds to RAR facilities should be imposed on the Primary Financial Beneficiaries (hereinafter “PFBs”) of the horseracing industry. In Part VII, I argue that this financial burden should be placed on PFBs in the form of “Participation Fees” proportional to the PFB’s level of investment in the industry. In Part VIII, I contend that this mandate could be carried out by either private state racing associations, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, state governments, or the federal government. In Part IX, I further explore the logistics of implementing such a scheme.


The History of Animal Law, Part I (1972-1987), Joyce Tischler, 1 Stan. J. Animal L. & Pol'y 1 (2008).

Animals have always been the subjects of litigation. Early legal literature is replete with cases that range from the conversion of a farmer’s cow to the debate about who owns wildlife,1 from criminal prosecutions of humans for cruelty to animals2 to criminal prosecutions of animals for crimes that they allegedly committed.3 The purpose of this article is not simply to discuss the significance of individual cases involving animals, but rather to explore the roots of a large-scale, organized movement, which started in the early 1970s in the United States, spearheaded by attorneys and law students with the express purpose of filing lawsuits to protect animals and establishing the concept of their legal rights, regardless of the species of the animals or the ownership interest of humans. What we now call Animal Rights Law or Animal Law began when attorneys consciously considered animal-related legal issues from the perspective of the animal’s interests, when they began to view the animal as the de facto client, and where the goal was to challenge institutionalized forms of animal abuse and exploitation.

Within the scope of a law review article, it is not practical to list all of the lawsuits filed from 1972 to 1987.4 The goal of this article is to trace the beginnings of animal law as a legal discipline and analyze the thought processes of its leaders, how the surrounding animal rights movement influenced the direction of animal law, and how the choices that were made shaped the foundation and growth of this area of the law. This article is written in the first person, because I don’t wish to mislead the reader who might assume that I am a dispassionate historian. I am an animal rights lawyer; the people described herein are my respected colleagues.


Human Identity: The Question Presented by Human-Animal Hybridization, Joseph Vining, 1 Stan. J. Animal L. & Pol'y 50 (2008).

What makes each of us, as individuals, human to one another, or, more generally, what makes an individual creature human? We have not often had to ask the question because of the species line based on reproductive capacity and incapacity, although “degrees of humanness” were explored in the various eugenic programs of the last century. Now the biotechnological possibility of fusing human and other forms of life is presenting the question in a new and serious way. If the traditional biological means of defining species are no longer reliable, what other criteria might determine what is “human” and what is “nonhuman”? The issue is not just how to conceive of an individual hybrid presented to us, but how to act toward the creature, at the most basic level. Drawing on animal law and theory as well as the history of human eugenics in law and policy, Vining identifies criteria that may one day be used to gauge relative humanness, qualitative and quantitative. He observes that ultimately the difficulty of deciding or agreeing upon what identifies us as human will make even more problematic the current treatment of creatures deemed purely “animal.” In the end he suggests that what the human distinctively brings to the sentient world is general responsibility itself, and that wider contemplation of the real possibility of human-animal hybridization may lead to new ways of thinking about animals, in law and beyond. Human Identity was presented recently as a talk to a longstanding interdisciplinary faculty seminar at the University of Michigan. It is presented largely in its original form here, with footnotes added.


Share |