- Code LAWS4234
- Unit Value 6 to 12 units
- Offered by Law School
- ANU College ANU College of Law
- Course subject Laws
- Areas of interest Law
- Academic career UGRD
- Mode of delivery In Person
The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the legal, ethical, regulatory, economic and social issues that are associated with human interaction with animals.
The former President of the Australian Law Reform Commission Professor David Weisbrot suggested that "animal welfare" is likely to become the next great social justice movement in Australia, observing that the treatment of animals is "increasingly becoming a social and legal issue, as well as an important economic one." Why is this? There is a growing understanding in society of the importance of respect and protection of animals as an indicator of the ethical maturity of a society.
The way in which society exploits animals for our entertainment, pleasure and consumption therefore raises profound moral, ethical and legal issues. Accordingly, "ethical animal welfare, the protection of animals for their own sake as sentient beings with a capacity for suffering, is no doubt one of the basic values of modern western states." This interaction between human activities and animal interests is a serious area of academic inquiry giving rise to significant legal regulatory and socio-ethical issues.
Adopting an inter-disciplinary approach, this new elective course will consider animals within established categories of law such as property, (for example, s.2 of the Australian Consumer Law and s 4 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) defines "goods" to include animals), but will also examine the legal status and regulation of the treatment of within broader social, philosophical and legal contexts. This includes an economic and scientific context, an environmental context, and an ethical-political context.
Students will therefore be challenged in their traditional understanding of animals as they are conceptualised in law (including underlying philosophical assumptions) and to critically evaluate the way the legal system influences the interests of animals within society.
In this way, an examination of animals through prevailing and traditional legal doctrines is critiqued and evaluated through the insights of other academic disciplines such as philosophy, economics and science. This approach will provide students with an opportunity for critical reflection on the legal and ethical interaction between humans and animals as manifested in the law.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:
1 define, describe and apply in a coherent fashion an advanced knowledge of animal welfare and anti-cruelty legislation, together with other ways in which the law regulates animals, to provide solutions to complex problems with intellectual independence;
2 Critically evaluate the legal and philosophical characterisation of animal interests;
3 outline, summarise and/or synthesise a clear and coherent body of knowledge in ways that can be comprehended by peers and the course lecturer;
4 Plan and complete a research project, with some independence.
5 Evaluate the principal animal welfare and anti-cruelty legislation and the enforcement of that legislation by interest groups.
Indicative AssessmentClass participation – 10%
Class presentation – 40%
Research paper – 50% 2500 words
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Requisite and Incompatibility
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 to 12 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.