In Memorium

Sadly, Hannah R. Arterian, Dean of Syracuse University's College of Law, passed away 8 April 2022. SSRN appreciates her contribution to and support of the Legal Scholarship Network (LSN), and she will be missed.

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Table of Contents

Animal Rights and the Victimhood Trap

Justin F. Marceau, University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Animal Rights: From Why to How

Sherry F. Colb, Cornell University - Law School
Michael C. Dorf, Cornell Law School

Rebuilding the Endangered Species Act: An Environmental Perspective

Brett Hartl, Center for Biological Diversity
Jessica Owley, University of Miami - School of Law

Towards Inclusive Governance of the Blue Commons: Enhancing Tenure Rights for Small Scale Fishers in Kenya

Jerameel Kevins, University of Nairobi, School of Law

Fisheries Redistribution under Climate Change: Rethinking the Law to Address the ‘Governance Gap’?

Mitchell Lennan, University of Strathclyde - Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance

Adding Ethicality to the Menu of the Farm to Fork Strategy

Danny Friedmann, Peking University School of Transnational Law, Peking University School of Transnational Law


"Animal Rights and the Victimhood Trap" Free Download
63 Ariz. L. Rev. 731 (2021)
U Denver Legal Studies Research Paper No. 21-34, 2021

JUSTIN F. MARCEAU, University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Legal academics recognize that as a general rule, there is no concept so novel and original that it is not a subset of some other well-established, preexisting academic debate. The legal questions that seem most pressing for one social movement are never entirely unique to that movement or that moment. In this sense, animal rights law has more to teach general legal fields than may seem obvious at first blush, and likewise animal lawyers have much more to learn from fields that predate and have nothing to do with animals than they might want to acknowledge. Framing crime victim advocacy as an engine of social change is a topic of import for many modern animal lawyers, but the idea of victimhood as a tool for progressive social change is no more original than it is politically neutral.

This Article examines the work of a notable segment of the animal-law field, which has prioritized law and policy achievements that recognize animals as victims of crime. On the one hand, animals are unquestionably victims. They endure considerable suffering at the hands of humans, and civil liability or non-carceral recognition of this victimhood is a distinct topic. The question this Article takes up, by contrast, is whether the crime victims’ rights framing—imbued as it is with the rhetoric and logics of a tough-on-crime movement—represents a material gain for animals. Is the victims’ rights turn in animal law exclusively or primarily rhetorical or expressive, or are there concrete, measurable gains for animals? This Article situates the animal rights movement’s crime-victim efforts within broader conversations about how victims’ rights narratives advance or impede social change, and provides a detailed examination of what victims’ rights advocacy for animals has meant for animals to date. The point is not that the “victim” label is always injurious to efforts to advance the standing of animals in law. Rather, the claim is that pursuing a victims’ rights agenda in animal law is not as unique as is often imagined, and the socio-legal and political history of crime victim advocacy outside of the animal realm must be taken into consideration. On this question, animal lawyers have much to teach other areas of law, and perhaps even more to learn about whether crime victim advocacy is more a trap than a panacea.

"Animal Rights: From Why to How" Free Download
Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper, 2022
Animal Law Review, Vol. 22, No. 225, 2016

SHERRY F. COLB, Cornell University - Law School
MICHAEL C. DORF, Cornell Law School

On January 9, 2016, the Association of American Law Schools hosted a panel by the Section on Animal Law in New York City. The panel featured legal professionals, scholars, and experts from various disciplines who discussed strategies for securing legal rights for animals. The panel explored what the animal rights movement can learn from other social movements, which legal approaches are available to animal advocates, and the need for non-legal strategies to change cultural attitudes. This panel moves beyond the discussion of whether animals have rights, and addresses the important questions and potential strategies for improving the lives of non-human animals.

"Rebuilding the Endangered Species Act: An Environmental Perspective" Free Download

BRETT HARTL, Center for Biological Diversity
JESSICA OWLEY, University of Miami - School of Law

This chapter explores ways to strengthen the Endangered Species Act. Using the example of a freshwater mussel, we walk through various sections of the Act pointing out where the Act (or its implementation) fails species. The ESA—and the Services—can be great again. But right now, we are at great risk of losing the moral and political will—in the Services, in the Congress, and in the public sphere—to take bold action of restoring the wild places that support our most imperiled animals and plants. This chapter outlines steps to strengthen and improve the ESA to avoid additional extinctions and the threat of further biological annihilation. We recommend legislative amendments regarding distinct population segments, expanding protections for threatened species, creating a limited take prohibition for plants, and altering the Act’s funding mechanisms. We also recommend strengthening implementation of the Act with recommendations pointed at the Fish and Wildlife Service. We push the Service to support scientists and encourage ambitious conservation efforts. Improvements in enforcement and transparency are vital.

"Towards Inclusive Governance of the Blue Commons: Enhancing Tenure Rights for Small Scale Fishers in Kenya" Free Download

JERAMEEL KEVINS, University of Nairobi, School of Law

This paper advocates for the involvement of small scale fishers in the wider ocean governance in Kenya.

"Fisheries Redistribution under Climate Change: Rethinking the Law to Address the ‘Governance Gap’?" Free Download
Lennan, M., 'Fisheries Redistribution under Climate Change: Rethinking the Law to Address the "Governance Gap"?' in Froukje Maria Platjouw, Alla Pozdnakova (eds), Environmental Rule of Law for Oceans: Designing Legal Solutions, Cambridge University Press (2022 Forthcoming)

MITCHELL LENNAN, University of Strathclyde - Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance

The impact of climate change on the distribution of fish stocks and other marine species is a pervasive problem that causes governance issues and threatens the rule of law for the oceans. Fish moving across static jurisdictional and management boundaries may become unregulated and risk being overexploited. Shifting fish stocks threaten the certainty, predictability and stability of the international fisheries legal framework, and undermine conservation and management measures by coastal States and regional fisheries organisations, impeding sustainable exploitation and conservation of global fish stocks. This chapter assesses whether and to what extent the international legal framework adequately places an obligation upon States to adapt to the complexities caused by MLRs shifting their location, to maintain the rule of law. It assesses whether the key principles and obligations under the international framework are fit for purpose to address these issues. It indicates there is a general obligation on States, either individually or collectively, to adapt the management of marine living resources to the effects of climate change. It concludes with potential solutions which may strengthen an adaptive response.