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The Animal Law and Society Master (UAB)


Before all else, and as our fundamental premise: we are at the service of animals, and this is the only real reason that the Animal Law and Society and Law Master exists at the UAB, and has existed up until now.

The Animal Law and Society Master is a programme through which the UAB, a public university, provides training for those who are already professionals, and those who seek to dedicate themselves, effectively, to improving the conditions of animals in todays society, which is, after all, a global society, for better or for worse.

This University (and moreover, this public University), which is by definition a centre of investigation and teaching, has an obligation to achieve in society: to effectively transfer knowledge. Not only in teaching skills, but also in passionately teaching about that which we love and study passionately. In this case, about Animals, with a capital A.

This is the first and only Master in Europe (in class and online), which strives to create experts in Animal Law, which is an emerging area of the Law, and is well established in many countries and experiencing a rapid and visible growth throughout the world [1].

It is the only Animal Law Master in the world, and offers a complete and holistic training in terms of:

1) The topics: it offers the legal study of animals, through effective plans of study, officially approved for all university courses (legal issues of civil, criminal, procedural, commercial, constitutional, ethical, corporate, labour and international nature). But the originality and uniqueness of the program is evident in:

2) The perspective: which is cross-curricular and international.

  • Cross-curricular, which involves, in addition to the aforementioned subjects, the applied teaching of Sciences of Animal Welfare (Ethology, Biology, Experimentation and Veterinary Sciences), of Medicine (Nutrition, Clinical Practice and Cooperation), as well as Humanities and Social Sciences (Psychology, History, Economics, Communications, applied Ethics and Public Policy).
  • International, in terms of teaching that takes an approach from a comparative perspective across different legal regimes, without exclusion, looking beyond the basic perspective of comparing Civil and Common Law, and dedicating special attention to the most progressive countries in terms of protection afforded to animals (USA, Australia, Germany, France and the European Union), as well as emerging countries (China and Egypt).

3) The Tools:

  • ICALP, which is the breeding ground for ideas, projects and the personnel capable of developing them;
  • The legal website (www.derechoanimal.info) - the only one developed in Spain, which is the source of training for the future experts in Animal Law;
  • The ‘Animal Debates’, which are monthly meetings of the Investigation Centre ICALP that are open to anyone, in order to facilitate dialogue about, in practical and realistic terms, the issues that are dealt with by us and our guests, as well as anyone who commit themselves to reflecting upon such issues in society;
  • The collections of books, articles, videos, records of the Catalonian libraries and main Universities of the world that are all interconnected and accessible to all registered on the Program, as well as the ‘Tirant lo Blanch’ available for those studying the Online Master;
  • Our own collection of books, published by the prestigious legal editors “Tirant lo Blanch” (website link), where the most recent legal developments in the area of Animal Law are published, as well as works that assess theory and practice involving animals;
  • The organised visits to scientific institutions and animal establishments such as farms, shelters, sanctuaries, and international institutions;
  • The organisation of Conferences, Workshops and Meetings

4) The mission: Our mission is to train professionals in Animal Law, who can express themselves in a highly qualified way in the global setting. We train the professionals that society needs and in the way that it demands, which always, fortunately, turns out better than than we could ever hope.

Our mission is both professional and investigatory; we train professionals who want to better understand how to work for Animals, and we train investigators in Animal Law, to be prepared for the demands that scientific knowledge expects from the legal system and its application in public policy, in every corner of the world. For this reason, we have opened in the Law Faculty of the UAB a unique line of investigation, on ‘Animal Law and Society’, in which many theses are being carried out, as well as other investigations, some of which have already been completed in the form of Investigative Projects, with others under development as Projects or Doctoral Theses. In order to train this investigatory skill, we rely on the “Room of Doctorate Students of Animal Law”, which meets twice a month as a platform of learning and implementing techniques of investigation and as a focal point for intellectual stimulation for all who participate.

5) The Structure: The Program consists of three distinct parts:

  • The classes that take the form of intensive seminars. Once a month, written articles or essays are submitted, which helps to increase development through writing and the thought and reasoning process. 
  • The internships, which take place in prestigious institutions with which we collaborate in all corners of the world, and must be undertaken for a minimum of 80 hours.
  • The final piece of work, the Master Thesis. This is a unique opportunity to learn new techniques of investigation under the guidance of an expert; the Director of the Master Thesis. Through an academic approach, the Master Thesis must ultimately be presented and defended in public, before a panel of specialists, who will then provide constructive feedback.

6) The most crucial factor: The H Factor (Human), which is fourfold:

  • The Students: without doubt, of first and foremost importance. Our students come from all over the world, from various different cultures and with diverse academic backgrounds (jurists, veterinarians, biologists, politicians, economists, philosophers, archaeologists, bankers, horse trainers, physiotherapists, those trained in communications, and those from the police forces). The students truly are our greatest treasure.
  • The Alumni: we have adopted the following latin maxim that relates to legacy: semel Alumnus, semper Alumni. Translated, it means only once a student, but always an Alumni. While there is no specific alumni association (for now), the alumni are still involved with us on a daily basis, some of whom incorporate themselves in the Program by teaching, others who are employed at the associations with which we collaborate, others who make contributions to our website, others who help animals by their work in shelters, in the courts, in national parliament, in laboratories, in maritime reserves, in offices as lawyers, at fashion magazines or in written or radio media.
  • The Professors: Our faculty works tirelessly; their profession is tutoring, which consists of teaching and transferring knowledge, and doing so repetitively with enthusiasm (as said by Eugeni d’Ors, the father of my Teacher). They come from various countries and are inspired by an immense desire to promote the study of Animal Law, in spite of the time and energy required. We rely on top professionals, some of whom are genuine “legends” of Animal Law, and additionally we incorporate “new values” that they abide by with hope and confidence. We are proud to rely on lawyers, public prosecutors, certain judges, veterinarians and experts to make their classes a great place for dialogue and learning.

  • The Team: Solid, united and diverse, striving for the best even when it seems to be a hard and distant goal; perhaps this is our secret.

Teresa Giménez-Candela
Ord. Prof. in Roman Law. PhD
Master in Animal Law and Society Director
ICALP Director
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
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[1]The Program received, together with PETA (Germany) the prestigious “Respect for Animals” Award from the “CyO” Foundation.

keys law, legal , case law , animal

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