Conferences


In this section, you can find an overview of all the conferences that our Centre is organising or has organised in the past.

European Animal Rights Law Conference 2019


The Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights Law hosted the first European Animal Rights Law Conference from 14-15th September 2019. The event, which took place at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, brought together animal rights law scholars and practitioners from Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Israel, Ireland, Poland, Finland, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US.

The Conference started in the morning of September 14th with an introduction by Dr Sean Butler and Dr Raffael Fasel. Dr Butler welcomed the 15 speakers and 50 guests, and explained how the Conference fits into the broader range of activities organised by the Centre. Dr Fasel then described the revolutionary character of the emerging discipline of animal rights law, and proposed the adoption of a pragmatic approach to animal rights, which does not get caught up in labels such as “welfarism” or “abolitionism”. Addressing the Conference’s focus on Europe, Dr Fasel said that

“ … while there are important dissimilarities between the animal laws of different European states, there are also important similarities—not least thanks to the Council of Europe and the EU. To build much-needed capacities not only in animal rights law scholarship, but also in animal rights law practice, it therefore seemed to make sense to us to first leverage existing European synergies. The mission of our Centre, however, is not only to draw together what already exists but, more importantly, to help build a European community of animal rights lawyers and thereby to generate new synergies …”

The ensuing presentations by the Conference participants were divided into five different panels and included the following speakers (you can download the programme as a PDF file). Posters were on display for each talk, and can be downloaded here:

Panel 1: Habeas corpus for Animals


Panel 2: Constitutional Animal Rights


Panel 3: The Merits and Limits of Animal Protection Regimes


Panel 4: Human Rights, Animal Rights, and Legal Personhood


Panel 5: Animal Rights on the Ground


The keynote address—on the topic “Islamic Conceptions of Animal Rights”—was delivered by Professor Kristen Stilt, Deputy Dean and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Director of the Animal Law & Policy Program. In her engaging address, Professor Stilt explored the resources that the Quran and the Hadith have to offer to promote animal welfare and rights.

Here are some impressions from the Conference:

The Conference was generously sponsored by the Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law and Policy.