Advocates for social justice have long used the power of the law to advance their cause, and history clearly demonstrates that our legal system has been a powerful force in protecting those who would be denied their rights on the basis of race, gender, class, age, religion or physical disability.
Animal advocates, viewing animal rights as the next logical step in the movement toward social justice for all, have in recent years begun to use the legal system to improve the treatment of nonhuman animals-so much so that an entirely new field of study has evolved: animal law.
For those who believe that the constructive use of the legal system is the most effective way to bring about positive and long-term change for animals, the burgeoning field of animal law represents both opportunity and challenge. The opportunity lies in gaining for animals fair treatment under the law, including the right to be protected from institutionalized exploitation. The challenge lies in assuring that those who represent animals have the resources they need to advance their interests in court.
The International Institute for Animal Law has been established to encourage, at the international level, the development of legal scholarship and advocacy skills on behalf of animals. A not-for-profit organization composed of a renowned and experienced group of attorneys and judges from around the world, the Institute is dedicated to creating and supporting programs that will enhance the development of laws that protect animals.
The Institute focuses on providing comprehensive, authoritative resources that foster advocacy skills as they apply to animal law, including case and statutory analysis and litigation techniques and strategies. In addition, the Institute fosters scholarly discussion of the varied and complex issues surrounding the relationship between human and nonhuman animals and how they influence animal advocacy.
The International Institute for Animal Law brings a unique global perspective to the cause-one that is becoming increasingly relevant in light of the trend toward globalization, where the speed at which business transactions flow around the world is measured in milliseconds. The Internet has not only created a truly international community, where information is freely exchanged from one corner of the world to another, it has sparked a new global economy based on electronic commerce. As people and countries become more inextricably linked through the power of information technology, it is increasingly imperative that laws, including those that pertain to animals, are viewed through an international perspective.
The Institute's programs, workshops and online resources ensure that lawyers, law students and other animal advocates in the U.S. and around the world have the opportunity to obtain the information and develop the skills they need to most effectively represent the interests of animals in the legal and legislative arena. Our scope is broad and far-reaching in providing up-to-date resources on all aspects of animal law, whether it concerns stronger enforcement of existing laws, tighter regulations regarding the use of animals, the case for granting fundamental legal rights to animals, or the civil rights of those who defend animals.
With a deeply held belief that we as a society have a moral obligation to seek justice for all living creatures, the International Institute for Animal Law is committed to supporting those who share that belief with the resources they need to ensure animals their day in court. Ultimately, our goal is to see that the legal process is used as effectively as possible to improve the lives of all animals.
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