Teaching Animal Law

Voiceless develops animal law educational materials for universities and supports the development of animal law courses in Australia.

Our multi-faceted educational program for law students and teachers increases knowledge and awareness of animal protection issues in our legal systems.

Voiceless develops animal law educational materials for universities and supports the development of animal law courses in Australia. We encourage the professional development of Australia’s animal law educators and deliver animal law presentations at universities across the country and at national and international conferences.

We also offer an internship program for law students and support student animal law events and initiatives across the country.

We are proud to partner with the Bond University Centre for Professional Legal Education on the development of our Animal Law Education (ALE) resources. 

Why is animal law education important?

Voiceless believes animal law education is a crucial aspect of the animal protection social justice movement.

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.  

As explained by Dr Joanna Kyriakakis, Animal Law Lecturer at Monash University:

The subject’s embeddedness in law school curricula can have flow-on effects that benefit the broader social movement… providing more law students with the opportunity to study animal law produces future lawyers, legislators, policy makers, and judges attuned to the social conditions of animals and to the role of law in constructing, perpetuating, mediating and changing those conditions.

Animal law education resources

We create freely available, up-to-date and professionally developed animal law educational materials for use in universities around the world.

Our Animal Law Education (ALE) materials have been designed by tertiary educators for tertiary educators, and created in collaboration with the Bond University Centre for Professional Legal Education.

They enable animal law teachers to easily run engaging classes on key animal law topics by using our free and professionally developed resources and tutorial activities.

Our first ALE Module (Moral and Legal Status of Animals) can be accessed here. It contains a podcast, quiz, presentation, tutorial activities, and a list of useful resources. The Module introduces students to the range of theoretical, philosophical and ideological positions regarding the moral status of animals, and the traditional, contemporary and potential legal status of animals.

In 2019, we will be releasing our second ALE module exploring the complex issue of animal law and policy reform. 

Supporting animal law teachers

In 2018, we co-ordinated and ran Australia’s only animal law teacher professional development forum – the annual Animal Law Education Workshop (ALE Workshop). The Workshop was held in Sydney and generously hosted by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers. Attended by Australia and New Zealand’s animal law lecturers and researchers, the ALE Workshop provides animal law teachers with the opportunity to share ideas and learn from the experiences and expertise of their peers. We will be running the Workshop again in 2019, in collaboration with our ALE partners, the Bond University Centre for Professional Legal Education.

The ALE Workshop is attended by: 

  • People who are currently teaching animal law units in AUS/NZ or have done so in the past;
  • People who are planning to teach animal law units in AUS/NZ; 
  • People who are undertaking animal law postgraduate research in AUS/NZ; 
  • Legal counsel from animal protection organisations in AUS/NZ. 

Pictured: Attendees at the Animal Law Education Workshop (2018), hosted at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Sydney. 

Listen to one of the presentations delivered by University of Otago animal law lecturer Marcelo Rodriguez Ferrere here.