Anastasia Smietanka is the National Co-ordinator of the Barristers Animal Welfare Panel, a national body composed of over 120 barristers. Anastasia has been a passionate animal protection advocate since she became vegetarian at age 3 and has been involved in animal activism from various angles including legal, political and policy formation. Her work in the Panel ranges from the policy and regulatory aspect of animal law, including liaising with bodies such as the ACCC and various levels of government, to the legal aspect of animal protection which includes arranging legal representation in instances of strategic litigation and assisting in negotiations. Anastasia’s involvement has been across a wide range of animal protection issues at both a State and National level ranging from breed specific legislation to wild animals and factory farming.
In addition to her role with the Panel, she is working as a graduate lawyer at a mid-tier commercial law firm. She graduated with a combined Law and Media degree with honors in French from the University of Melbourne in 2011. During this time, she was the President of the University of Melbourne Animal Protection Society and helped see the introduction of a Conscientious Objection policy for science students who do not wish to test on animals.
Anastasia will present at the Melbourne Law Lecture Series on Tuesday 30 April at Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Wednesday 1 May at the University of Melbourne. She will discuss the intersection of politics and the legal system which will include an overview of their relationships, how laws are created and the problems in the Courts with interpretation and what that means for animals. Anastasia will use case examples of breed specific legislation in Victoria, factory farming and the free range bills in various states and also the move towards a ban on sow stalls.
Register for one of Anastasia’s lectures here.