A leading US animal lawyer says Australia is experiencing "phenomenal growth" around the animal law movement, and is starting to show leadership on worldwide animal law initiatives.
Joyce Tischler, who has be practising animal law for 30 years on behalf of the Animal Defence Legal Fund in the US, made the comments after being secured by Animal welfare organisation Voiceless to lead a national annual law lecture series in August.
She told Lawyers Weekly that her experiences in the US decades ago taught her that the legal system can be used to enhance the welfare of animals. And she sees similar opportunities for dedicated animal lawyers in Australia.
"It took a while to realise that we were starting a movement," she said. "One of the most gratifying aspects of our work has been to meet, or learn about, all of the passionate and committed lawyers across other countries.
Voiceless maintains that much progress has been made over the last couple of years since former president of the Australian Law Reform Commission Professor David Weisbrot labelled animal law the next great social justice movement. The annual Voiceless lecture series has increasingly grown in popularity, dedicated animal lawyers have emerged, and the first animal law textbook was published in 2009.
Tischler credits Voiceless, which boasts prominent animal lawyer Katrina Sharman as working in-house, for much of the success of the animal law movement in Australia.
Check with Voiceless for information on the Animal Law Lecture Series
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