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LAWS432 Animals and the Law

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Theories regarding the legal status of animals and the regulation of animal welfare in New Zealand.

The specific objectives of this paper are to

  • Encourage interest in - and understanding of - the concept of legal speciesism and the rights of non-human animals
  • Develop understanding of the legal framework that provides for the regulation of animal control and welfare in New Zealand
  • Encourage critical analysis of this legal framework from a normative perspective
  • Identify various conflicts between the interests of human and non-human animals and navigate possible resolutions to those conflicts

Paper title Animals and the Law
Paper code LAWS432
Subject Law
EFTS 0.1
Points 15 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $679.70
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,212.40

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LAWS 201, LAWS 202, LAWS 203 and LAWS 204
Pre or Corequisite
Any 200-level LAWS paper not already passed.
Limited to
LLB, LLB(Hons)
May not be credited together with LAWS472 passed in 2013 and 2015.
Teaching staff

Mr Marcelo Rodriguez Ferrere

Course materials are provided by the Faculty.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • Students will be exposed to various interdisciplinary perspectives on animals and the law and, in particular, philosophy, cognitive science and veterinary science.
  • Students will gain a global perspective of legal issues affecting animals through consideration of international literature on the subject.
  • Students will gain the ability to apply the knowledge they have gained in this paper in legal practice.
  • Through both the nature of the assessment and in-class discussion, students will be encouraged and required to engage and develop their critical thinking and logical communicative skills.
  • The nature of the assessment will encourage and require self-motivated self-direction with regards to critical thought, preparation of legal and philosophical arguments, presentation of those arguments and, potentially, intensive research.
  • Students will be introduced to issues involving animal rights and the rights of tangata whenua under the Treaty of Waitangi.

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41
Friday 11:00-16:50 40