Animal Rights Law
This course will examine the legal status of non-human animals, including an overview of the relationship between humans and animals, how it varies according to the use to which animals are put and scientific understanding of the capacities of animals, and how it has evolved historically; how judges, administrators and other policymakers see and speak about animals; philosophical points of view on the appropriate relationship between humans and animals; current animal protection laws; "standing" and the problems of litigating on behalf of animals; the classification of animals as "property" and whether such classification is appropriate or important; legal protection and regulation of the bond between humans and companion animals; regulation of the treatment of animals in various institutional settings, including agriculture; and various arguments and strategies for reform. From time to time there will be guest speakers. Students are required to write several short papers. With prior permission of the instructor, a limited number of students may take the course to satisfy the upper class writing requirement.