Competition

Prizes

(one or more of the following to be offered to the winning team of the finals)

monetary award

1-week legal internship/work experience

1-year Associate Membership of the Global Research Network

Judges

Dr. Charlotte E. Blattner

University of Bern

Dr. Charlotte E. Blattner is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Institute of Public Law, University of Bern, Switzerland. She specializes in animal law and climate law. She earned her PhD in Law from the University of Basel, Switzerland, and completed postdoctoral fellowships at Queen’s University, Canada, and Harvard Law School, Cambridge MA. Her books include Protecting Animals Within and Across Borders (OUP 2019) and Animal Labour: A New Frontier of Interspecies Justice? (OUP 2020, coedited with Will Kymlicka and Kendra Coulter).

Ms. Edie Bowles

Advocates for Animals | Animal Law Foundation

Ms. Edie Bowles is a solicitor and the managing director of Advocates for Animals, the UK’s first animal protection law firm. She has advised almost all of the main animal protection organisations, smaller organisations and individuals across all animal protection law and campaigning.  She also founded The Animal Law Foundation. She often speaks on animal protection issues and has done so in the UK Parliament, the French Senat and the East African Legislative Assembly.

Ms. Tushti Chopra

Prof. Jessica Eisen

University of Alberta

Prof. Jessica Eisen is an Associate Professor and Associate Dean Graduate Studies at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law. Her research interests include animals and the law, constitutional and comparative constitutional law, equality and antidiscrimination law, feminist legal theory, intergenerational justice, and law and social movements. Prof. Eisen’s research has been published in the Journal of Law and Equality, Animal Law Review, Canadian Journal of Poverty Law, Transnational Legal Theory, Queen’s Law Journal, ICON: International Journal of Constitutional Law, University of British Columbia Law Review, University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, and elsewhere. She has studied at Barnard College, Columbia University (BA, Political Science and Human Rights Studies, 2004); The University of Toronto Faculty of Law (JD, 2009); Osgoode Hall Law School (LLM, 2014); and Harvard Law School (SJD, 2019); and has worked at WeirFoulds LLP, the Ontario Ministry of Labour, and the Constitutional Law Branch of the Ministry of the Attorney General for Ontario.

Dr. Raffael N. Fasel

Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights Law | University of Cambridge

Dr. Raffael N. Fasel is Yates Glazebrook Fellow and College Lecturer in Law at Jesus College, Cambridge, and Affiliated Lecturer at the Cambridge Law Faculty. He was previously Fellow in Law at the London School of Economics and was awarded a four-year research grant by the Swiss National Science Foundation. He obtained a Bachelor and Master of Law degree from the University of Fribourg, an MA in Philosophy from University College London, an LLM from Yale Law School, and a PhD in Law from the University of Cambridge, for which he was awarded the Yorke Prize. He is the author of More Equal Than Others: Humans and the Rights of Other Animals and the co-author of Animals and the Constitution: Towards Sentience-based Constitutionalism (both forthcoming with Oxford University Press). His research has been published or is forthcoming in leading scientific journals such as the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, the International Journal of Constitutional Law, and The American Journal of Jurisprudence, as well as in periodicals with a wider readership such as the Times Literary Supplement.

Prof. David Favre

Michigan State University | Animal Legal Defense Fund

Prof. David Favre has been a professor of law at Michigan State University College of Law for over forty-four years, serving as Dean of the College for five years, and teaching in the area of Property Law, Animal Law, and International Environmental Law. Professor Favre has written a number of articles and books dealing with animal issues including such topics as animal cruelty, wildlife law, animal rights, ethics of animal use, and international control of animal trade. His books include the casebook Animal Law: Welfare, Interest, and Rights (3nd ed. 2020), the ethics book Respecting Animals (2018), a legal roadmap, The Future of Animal Law (2021). He introduced the concept of “Living Property” though a number of law review articles. He has organized international conferences on animal law and has presented to international audiences.  He created and is editor-in-chief of the largest animal legal web resource in the world, www.animallaw.info. Now residing on a farm in Lower Michigan, Professor Favre shares his space with sheep, chickens and the usual assortment of dogs and cats.

He was a founding officer of the Animal Legal Defense Fund for 22 years, serving as President of the Board for the last two years.

Dean Kathy Hessler

George Washington University | Animal Legal Education Initiative | Council on Animal Legal Education | Aquatic Animal Law Project | Animal Law & Science Project

Dean Kathy Hessler is the inaugural Assistant Dean for Animal Legal Education at George Washington University Law School (GW Law), and Director of the Animal Legal Education Initiative (ALEI), in a program made possible by generous support from ALDF.  At GW Law, Dean Hessler also founded the Council on Animal Legal Education and the Aquatic Animal Law Project.  She co-founded and co-directs the Animal Law & Science Project with Dr. Lori Marino.

Dean Hessler has been a clinical law professor for 30 years and has been teaching animal law for 22 years. She is the first law professor hired to teach animal law full-time. She received her J.D. from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary and her LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center. 

Dean Hessler helped develop the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School (L&C).  For fourteen years she taught there and directed the Animal Law Clinic, which was named one of the top fifteen most innovative clinics in 2015.  She also created and directed the Aquatic Animal Law Initiative and is the co-founder of World Aquatic Animal Day along with Amy P. Wilson.

Prior to her work at GW Law and L&C, Dean Hessler also taught at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Cornell Law School, University of Dayton School of Law, Capital University Law School, and Georgetown University Law Center.

Dean Hessler also co-authored Animal Law in a Nutshell, Animal Law – New Perspectives on Teaching Traditional Law, and the amicus briefs submitted in the U.S. v. Stevens and Justice v. Gwendolyn Vercher cases.  She has written numerous law review and other articles and teaches and lectures widely across the U.S. and internationally and is working on a new book, Aquatic Animals; Law, Science and Policy.

Dean Hessler helped found the Animal Law Committee of the Cuyahoga County Bar; was the chair and a founder of the Animal Law Section and the Balance in Legal Education Section of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS). She was also a co-chair of the Clinical Legal Education Section of the AALS and is on the board of the Center for Teaching Peace, and is a fellow at the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.

Dr. Visa A.J. Kurki

Helsinki Animal Law Centre | University of Helsinki | Finnish Legal Philosophy Society | Finnish Society for Animal Rights Law

Dr. Visa A.J. Kurki is a Finnish legal scholar and philosopher, working as Associate Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Helsinki. He is also the Director of the Helsinki Animal Law Centre.

Dr. Kurki completed his PhD in 2017 at the Law Faculty of the University of Cambridge. His doctoral dissertation on legal personhood was awarded the Yorke Prize and the Salje Medal. It was published by Oxford University Press in 2019, and made Open Access in 2020. The book was described as “an instant classic” in the Modern Law Review, and the journal Revus devoted a symposium to it in 2021.

Dr. Kurki’s work on legal personhood has been cited in four US animal personhood trials, including two amicus curiae briefs by Harvard professor Laurence Tribe (links: [1] [2] [3]).

In addition to legal personhood, his interests include animal law, rights theory and social ontology.

Dr. Kurki is Vice President of both the Finnish Legal Philosophy Society (Finnish IVR) and Finnish Society for Animal Rights Law. He has served as one of the two editors of the Finnish law journal Oikeus and as the Editor-in-Chief of the Global Journal of Animal Law.

Adv. Zannis Mavrogordato

Twenty Essex

Zannis Mavrogordato is a Barrister, French Avocat and Arbitrator at Twenty Essex in London. He is a specialist in international commercial and investment arbitration, and has acted as Counsel and Arbitrator in international proceedings all around the world but with a particular geographical focus on Central and Eastern Europe. During the course of his practice, he has also assisted animal charities in international disputes against Governments and advised on the tactical deployment of international law tools (including the threat and use of arbitration and complaint procedures) to promote and protect the interests of animals. He graduated in Law from St. John’s College, Cambridge.

Adv. Brindha Nandakumar

Supreme Court of India | Karnataka High Court | Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre | Compassion Unlimited Plus Action | Beauty Without Cruelty

Adv. Brindha Nandakumar has conducted cases both in Trial and High Courts, having experience in  both civil and criminal cases, including money suits, property matters, company cases, family cases, matrimonial matters, animal  and environment cases, consumer protection law and public interest litigations.

She is empanelled as  a Mediator, Bangalore Mediation Centre (BMC ), Karnataka High Court in 2009. She is also a Commercial Courts Mediator, Karnataka Legal Services Authority and Mediator Consumer Court, Bangalore, and a mediation Trainer, MCPC, Supreme Court of India.

Adv. Nandakumar is actively  involved in the Animal  Welfare  and Animal Rights cause from 1994, She has worked in an honorary capacity for various NGOs and contributed to many animal projects which included animal welfare campaigns, court cases, running of animal shelters and hospitals and other animal related services.

She is Hon. Past President and currently a Trustee of Wildlife  Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (WRRC ), an NGO for wildlife. She is also a Life Member and Past Trustee, Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA). She has served CUPA, an NGO for animals in Bangalore, in various capacities from 1994 and has held the post of Trustee for eleven years (1996–2007 ). She is also a Life Member of Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC ), an NGO for animals.

She has assisted in various court cases relating to animal protection, in which she has represented the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), CUPA, WRRC, and People for Animals (PFA).

Additionally, she is a Former Managing Committee member of Richmond and Langford Town Residents’ Association. She was the Chairperson of Bangalore South Ladies Circle 66, the ladies wing of  Round Table,  a social organization engaged in community service for the period between 2001- 2002. She is a Member, Institutional Ethics Committee, National Tuberculosis Institute, Government of India.

Prof. Raphael Pangalangan

Jindal Global Law School | United Nations | International Criminal Court | Association of Southeast Asian Nations | Ocampo & Suralvo Law Offices

Prof. Raphael Pangalangan, the Associate Dean of Jindal Global Law School, specializes in human rights and international law. He represents victims of the Philippine drug war before the UN and ICC as CenterLaw-Philippines’ Head for International Accountability, and serves as Special Counsel at OS Law Offices. Prof. Pangalangan also advises the UN and ASEAN nations on transnational maritime cooperation, and has held fellowships with the Oxford-Bonevero Institute and Harvard’s East Asian Legal Studies program. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of the Philippines, a Masters in Human Rights from Oxford, and an LL.M. in International Law and Certificate in Animal Rights Law from Cambridge. He has published on these fields with BRILL, Hart, and the Oxford and Cambridge University Presses.

Judge Karla Andrade Quevedo

Constitutional Court of Ecuador | Ecuadorian Centre for Environmental Law | Simon Bolivar University | International SEK University | University of San Francisco de Quito

Judge Karla Andrade Quevedo studied Law in Quito’s San Francisco University (USFQ). After obtaining a Master and PhD in Constitutional Law from the University of Seville, Spain, she worked both in the public and private sectors and in NGOs.

Later on, she began her career at the Ecuadorian Center for Environmental Law, carrying out various projects and consultancies in environmental matters. Subsequently, she worked in the corporate environmental sector at the law firm Falconí Puig Abogados.

In 2012, she held several positions in the public sector, such as Advisor to the General Coordination of Legal Counsel of SENPLADES, and External Evaluator of Postgraduate Programs of the Council of Higher Education and Advisor to the Constitutional Court of Ecuador.

Since 2014, she has been a university professor, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, in various professorships related to constitutional law at the Universities Andina Simón Bolívar, International SEK and USFQ. In addition, she has several publications on constitutional matters and has been a lecturer in national and foreign events.

In the year 2016, she formed the law firm Lex Buró Abogados, in which she engaged in litigation and constitutional advice to various law firms and domestic and foreign companies.

Since February 2019, she is a judge of the Constitutional Court of Ecuador, after winning the competition of opposition and merits.

Barrister Paula Sparks

UK Centre for Animal Law

Barrister Paula Sparks is Chairperson of the UK Centre for Animal Law (A-law). Prior to this she was in practice as a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers. Barrister Sparks has an interest in animal law and regularly lectures and writes on topics around animal law and policy; she was a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Winchester teaching animal law and policy between 2017-2023. She is a contributing editor to the Routledge Handbook of Animal Welfare (2023). 

Dr. Angela van der Berg

University of the Western Cape

Dr. Angela van der Berg is the Director of the Global Environmental Law Centre (GELC) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), Faculty of Law in South Africa. She also holds the position of Associate Professor in the Department of Public Law and Jurisprudence where she coordinates and teaches the LLM (masters) Programme in Environmental Law. Before joining UWC, Angela held the position of Assistant Professor in International Justice and Global Challenges, at the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, Leiden University College (LUC) The Hague, Netherlands.  Prior to joining LUC, Angela obtained a joint PhD in Law and Development from Tilburg University, Netherlands in 2019 and from North- West University, South Africa in May 2020. Her other qualifications include a bachelor of laws (LLB) received in 2012 and a master’s degree in Environmental Law and Governance (LLM) graduated cum laude in 2014. Angela’s academic experience falls in the domain of Public Law, more specifically, Environmental Law, Climate Law, Constitutional Law, Urban Law, and Public Governance. More recently her research relates to  considering the adequacy of law in relation to animal rights, particularly in the context of climate change and climate justice. In 2023 Angela attended the Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights Law, Animal Rights Law Lecturer Worksop at the University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland. She also co-developed (together with Amy Wilson, Animal Law Reform) South Africa’s first formal course to be included at Master’s level that focuses on Constitutional Law and its intersections with Animal Rights Law, Rights of Nature, and Earth Jurisprudence. This course has since been adapted as a six week online short course.  

Prof. Amanda Whitfort

High Court of Hong Kong SAR | University of Hong Kong

Prof. Amanda Whitfort is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong and a Barrister of the High Court of Hong Kong SAR. She specialises in criminal law, environmental law and animal law. Her research on animal cruelty led to amended laws on animal breeding and a change in policy for the management of feral dogs in Hong Kong.

Ms. Amy P. Wilson

Animal Law Reform South Africa | University of Johannesburg | University of the Western Cape | Harmony with Nature United Nations | Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature: Africa Hub

Ms. Amy P. Wilson is a licensed attorney with over 13 years of professional legal experience, and a researcher focusing on the intersection of the rights of humans, nonhuman animals and Nature in law and policy. She is the co-Founder, Director and former Executive Director of Animal Law Reform South Africa (ALRSA), the first dedicated animal law non-profit in the country. She is a Lecturer, Doctoral Candidate and Research Associate with the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and a Senior Adjunct Lecturer with the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

Ms. Wilson is an Independent Expert with the United Nations in Harmony with Nature Programme and a founding steering committee member of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature: Africa Hub. She has co-founded and holds leadership roles with several African-based NGOs and has consulted for animal and environmental non-profits around the world.

Ms. Wilson is the first South African to graduate with a master’s degree in animal law (Lewis & Clark Law School, USA) and holds BCOM (Business Management) and LLB Degrees. She is currently working on her doctorate in law at UJ. In academia, Ms. Wilson spent two years as a Fellow specialising in aquatic animal law and with the Animal Law Clinic at Lewis & Clark Law School and has worked at UCLA (University of California), Los Angeles Law School as the Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law and Policy Fellow.

Ms. Wilson practiced law for over 6 years in South Africa including as a Senior Associate in the corporate commercial department at Africa’s largest law firm ENS Africa and an international law firm, Hogan Lovells. In 2022 and 2023, she co-taught the first animal law course in South Africa and Africa, and co-teaches courses on Constitutional Law and Nature. She has been published in international peer-reviewed journals and has authored several book chapters. She is currently co-authoring a book on aquatic animal law and co-editing the first animal law book in South Africa.

Evaluators

Ms. Katharina Braun

Free University of Berlin

Ms. Katharina Braun is a PhD candidate at Freie Universität Berlin and a legal trainee at the Higher Regional Court of Berlin. She holds a German law degree (1st state exam) and an LL.M. in Human Rights & Social Justice from the University of Connecticut School of Law. Her areas of interest include international criminal law, animal rights law, and legal theory. She has participated in the Day of Crisis Competition (Best Negotiations Team, 2018) and Hours of Crisis Competition (Best Written Advice Team, Winter 2019) and acted as arbitrator and judge in the VIS Moot Court and the ICC Moot Court Competition.

Ms. Marine Lercier

Autonomous University of Barcelona

Ms. Marine Lercier is a French human rights and animal rights researcher, advocate, and activist. Her academic background is in international and European Law (UN law, EU law, international human rights law, international humanitarian law, international criminal law, transitional justice, rule of law, electoral law, and comparative constitutional law). She earned a master’s degree in Animal Law with honours at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain (UAB) with the ambition of researching animal rights in addition to human rights after realising their interconnections and the relationship between human and animal health, welfare, and rights.

Ms. Lercier is currently a PhD candidate in Global Animal Law and a researcher at the Faculty of Law of the UAB. She taught Animal Law and Roman Law and supervised law students’ undergraduate dissertations on animal law, achieving the highest possible grades.  She has published articles, book chapters, working papers and blog posts, reviewed articles for academic journals, and delivered dozens of oral presentations and lectures in French, English, and Spanish. She has served as assistant editor of the journal dA. Derecho Animal (Forum of Animal Law Studies) (2018-2020). She has been a Junior Fellow (2020-2022) and Fellow (2022-2023) of the Animals & Biodiversity Think Tank programme at the Global Research Network. She has organised several in-person and online scientific and academic conferences, roundtables, book talks and symposia, some bringing together over 1,000 live participants and being viewed 2,000 times. She ran in the last parliamentary elections in France (2022) for the Animalist Party (Parti animaliste), where she remains actively involved.

Her research focuses on Global and Comparative Animal Law to improve the consideration and welfare of racehorses and protect their fundamental interests at the end of their careers and until the end of their lives. Her interests include the legal status and legal rights of animals, animal labour studies and labour rights for animals, animals’ representation in politics, and the impact of wars, climate change, and natural and human-induced disasters on fellow animals.

Ms. Veerle Platvoet

University of Helsinki

Ms. Veerle Platvoet is a doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. She obtained her LLM in global environmental law and governance and has policy experience in animal welfare. In her research, she aims to connect environmental law and animal law by focusing on animal welfare in conservation law, and how the pluralistic views on animals in the wild impact their legal status. Other interests include critical approaches to biodiversity conservation, wildlife ethics, and wild animal rights.

Participants

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