STUDY ANIMAL LAW

Voiceless has helped to establish animal law as a discipline at universities, with 16 Law Schools across Australia currently offering the subject.

Teaching animal law ensures that the next generation of change-makers in law, government and politics have an understanding of the key role the law plays in animal protection.

What do you study in an animal law course?

Most Animal Law units cover the following topics:

  • Overview of animal cruelty legislation
  • Moral and legal status of animals
  • Wild animals and the law
  • Farmed animals and the law
  • Animals in entertainment and the law
  • Animals in research and the law
  • Companion animals and the law
  • Animals as assistants and the law
  • Animal law reform

For insight into the sorts of topics and issues covered in Animal Law courses, access our Animal Law Education (ALE) resources on the Moral & Legal Status of Animals and Animal Law and Policy Reform

Where can you study animal law in Australia?

The following 16 Australian universities are currently offering Animal Law courses. For information about delivery modes during the Covid-19 pandemic, enrolment eligibility, pre-requisites and cross-institutional study options, please contact the relevant university directly.

Australian Capital Territory

Australian National University

‘Animals and the Law’ (LAWS2234) is an undergraduate law elective, taught for the first time in 2009. Please email the course coordinator, Associate Professor Alex Bruce for further details about the 2021 course.

New South Wales

Australian Catholic University

LAWS415 – Animal Law is an undergraduate law elective unit which was first taught in 2018. The most recent offering was held in Winter 2020 (online), taught by Dr Robert Mezyk.

Macquarie University

Animal Law Laws5048 was taught for the first time in 2012 and continues to be offered annually. The course is available for undergraduate, postgraduate and cross-institutional study. For further information, please contact the course coordinator, Dr Jed Goodfellow.

Southern Cross University

‘Animal Law’ (LAW10487) is an online elective, first offered via distance education in 2010. For further information, please contact the Southern Cross University Law School directly.

University of New England

‘Animal Law’ (LAW345) was run for the first time over Trimester 3 in 2017/2018. The unit is offered biannually as a summer elective (not offered again until 2021-22).

University of New South Wales

Animal Law (LAWS3144 and JURD7444) is available for undergraduate and postgraduate study at UNSW, which was the first law school in Australia to teach animal law in 2005. The unit was most recently offered in Term 3 2020 as a weekend intensive over 6 days. For further information, please contact the course coordinator, Tara Ward.

University of Technology Sydney

Animal Law and Policy in Australia (76033 and 78218) is available for undergraduate and postgraduate study. The unit was first taught in 2012. The undergraduate version of the subject usually alternates with the postgraduate version. The postgraduate unit was offered in Sem 1 2020. 76033 Animal Law and Policy in Australia is offered in 2021, however the class quota has already been filled. For further information, please contact the course coordinator Dr Sophie Riley

University of Wollongong

‘Animal Law’ (LLB366) was first taught as an undergraduate elective subject in Spring 2008. The subject is offered every 18-24 months. It will next be offered in Autumn 2021. For further information, please contact the course coordinator, Dr Keely Boom.

Queensland

Bond University

‘Animal Law’ (LAWS13-538) has been offered as an undergraduate law elective at Bond University since 2008. The unit is usually offered biannually, with the next offering in 2023.

Central Queensland University

‘Animal Law’ (LAWS11067) will be offered for the first time this year as an undergraduate law elective unit at CQU Law. The course is fully online and scheduled to be offered in Term 3 2021 (November 2021 – February 2022). For further information, please contact the Unit Coordinator Dr Alexandra McEwan: a.mcewan@cqu.edu.au.

Griffith University

‘Animal Law’ (5069LAW) is an undergraduate law elective, first taught at Griffith Law School in January 2007. The course is generally offered annually. It was most recently offered in 2020 as a summer intensive, consisting of on-campus classes completed in four days over a two-week period. It will next be offered in Trimester 2 in 2021 (Week 1 of Trimester 2 commences 19 July and the final week, Week 12, commences 11 October). For further information, please contact the course coordinator, Dr Steven White.

Queensland University of Technology

LLB247 Animal Law is an online biannual undergraduate law elective unit which was offered for the first time in Sem 2, 2020. It will next run in Sem 2, 2022. The course is coordinated by Professor Amanda Kennedy.

South Australia

University of Adelaide

‘Animals and the Law’ (ANIML SC 3250RW) was taught for the first time in 2012 and continues to run annually during the Winter semester (July) as a two week intensive program. Most recently offered in July 2020 as a 2 week intensive course. The course is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Cross-institutional study is also available. For further information, please contact the course lecturer, Dr Alexandra Whittaker.

Tasmania

The University of Tasmania

‘Animal Law’ (LAW629) is an undergraduate law elective unit, first taught in 2014 as a summer intensive course under the unit coordination of Dr Malcolm Caulfield. The unit currently runs as an online full semester unit under the coordination of Dr Meg Good. No 2021 offerings available at this stage. Please contact the course coordinator for further information.

Victoria

La Trobe University

‘Animal Welfare Law and Policy’ (LAW3ANI) is an undergraduate online law elective unit, first offered in 2016. It was most recently offered as a summer intensive in 2021. For queries, please contact Dr Francine Rochford.

Monash University

Monash University offers two animal law units. Animal Law, Regulation and Policy Law5458 is a postgraduate law elective unit, which has been delivered once to date in 2017 as an intensive (1 full day per week over 4 weeks). If offered in the future, it is expected to be an intensive/semi-intensive on-campus unit. Animal Law Law4230 is an undergraduate law elective unit which was first taught in 2015. It has been offered annually (2017-2020) since its introduction, and from 2021 onwards it will be offered every second year. It was most recently offered in Semester 2 2020 (online due to the Covid-19 pandemic). There are no 2021 offerings for animal law units at Monash. Please contact course coordinator Dr Joanna Kyriakakis for further information about either unit.

University of Melbourne

Animal Law and Policy LAWS90168 is a postgraduate masters level law elective unit, which will be offered for the first time in online intensive mode from 28 April to 4 May 2021 focusing on comparison between US and Australian animal law and co-taught by Joyce Tischler and Christine Parker. An Animals and the Law elective for JD students will also be offered from 22 November to 3 December 2021 in online intensive mode co-taught by Katy Barnett and Christine Parker. An undergraduate version of this unit ‘Animal Law’ (S50122) was offered to undergraduate students in 2010 and 2011. It was also taught as an intensive LLM course in November 2009. Please contact course coordinator Professor Christine Parker for further information.

Units currently not offered

Flinders University

Animal Law was taught for the first time in 2009, and again as a summer intensive unit in 2014/15 under the coordination of Dr Aaron Timoshanko. It is not currently offered. For further information please contact the Law School directly.

University of Sydney

Animal Law (LAWS3410) was taught for the first time in 2009 as an undergraduate elective unit under the coordination of Dr Celeste Black. The course is currently not being offered. To express your interest in having the course offered again, please contact the University of Sydney Law School directly.

What if your university doesn’t offer animal law?

If you wish to study animal law at a university that does not presently run an animal law course, we encourage you to write to the head of the law school and express your interest in the field. Voiceless is also available to help provide assistance to law students and law academics interested in establishing animal law units. Please contact us if you hear about an animal law course that is not listed above, or if you would like our assistance with introducing an animal law course at your university.

  • Join the Voiceless Community

    For academics, advocates, teachers and students, animal lovers, animal lawyers and everyone in between!
    Sign up below for the latest in animal law, animal protection education and any other Voiceless related tidbits.