2009 Voiceless Animal Law Lecture Series

For ten years, the annual Voiceless Animal Law Lecture Series hosted international leaders in animal law to share their expertise. Going forward, this ground-breaking series will continue online to discuss the latest developments in animal law worldwide, to inspire and educate animal advocates.

Animal Protection Law: Why it's everyone's business

The 2009 Lecture Series starred US ‘super lawyer’ Bruce Wagman, who spoke about his journey to animal law and the trials and tribulations that confront those seeking justice for animals. Every year billions of farm animals are raised for food and food production in the United States and Australia. The vast majority are raised in giant factory farms in which they endure lives of permanent confinement and systemic cruelty, much of which is legal. In recent times, increased concern about the treatment of these animals has spawned the growth of the animal law movement in both countries and created a new practice area for advocates motivated to work in this cutting edge field of law.

Bruce Wagman lifted the veil of secrecy on farm animal suffering and discussed how animals can be protected through strategic and public interest litigation. Drawing upon his own experience challenging the big corporations that use and exploit cows, pigs and chickens for profit, Bruce demonstrate why lessons learned in America may apply to Australia and why animal protection law is fast becoming everyone’s business.

An Australian context was provided by local speakers Professor David Weisbrot, Dr Melissa Perry QC, Peter Sankoff, Professor Steve Garlick, David Crocker, Dr Michelle Sharpe, Graeme McEwen, David Glasgow, Guy Donovan and local lecturers Celeste Black, Steven White, Jackson Walkden-Brown, Alex Bruce and Lesley Petrie.

In addition, former High Court judge and Voiceless Patron, The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG, launched Australia’s first animal law textbook ‘Animal Law in Australasia’, edited by Peter Sankoff and Steven White. 

Watch the 2009 Voiceless Animal Law Lecture Series keynote presentation.

Watch the speech by Michael Kirby.