Protection of Animals through Human Rights. The Case-Law of the European Court of Human Rights
Posted: 14 Sep 2018 Last revised: 8 May 2020
Date Written: September 13, 2018
This paper discusses the potential of a human rights framework to contribute to the growth and development of global animal law. Parts one and two of the essay take as their example the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, and examine the major trends in the Court’s judgments and admissibility decisions that directly or indirectly concern the rights or welfare of animals. It is concluded that the Court is not indifferent to the welfare of animals, but that animal welfare is instrumentalised: it is understood not as a good in itself, but is instead valued for its implications for human welfare and rights. Part three of the essay then considers the obstacles that the anthropocentrism of the human rights idea and the instrumentalisation of animal concerns present to the use of human rights frameworks to further the development of global animal law, as well as the opportunities that exist in the meeting of these paradigms. It concludes that although the telos of human rights law is different from that of animal law, nevertheless there exist many overlapping concerns within which mutually beneficial interactions are possible.
The paper is available open access via: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-60756-5_13
Keywords: Global Animal Law, animal welfare, animal rights, human rights, European Convention on Human Rights, anthropocentrism, instrumentalisation
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