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Global Animal Law


Anne Peters

The overarching research objective is to shed light on a discrete branch of international law: global animal law (GAL). The starting hypothesis is that contemporary animal law must also be global (i.e. both transboundary and multi-level) in order to be effective. In times of globalization, basically all aspects of (commodified) human−animal interactions (ranging from food production and distribution over working animals, uses in research, to breeding and keeping of pets) possess a transboundary dimension. Animal welfare has become a global good which requires global regulation.
Many aspects of the factual and legal situation of animals depend on climate and ecology, and in turn impact on those. Also, human’s attitudes towards animals are influenced by habits, religion, the wealth of a society, its state of industrialization, and other cultural factors. For these reasons, any global regulation of animals needs to take into account and must be linked to international economic environmental law, international human rights law, the law of development, and should generally be sensitive to north−south relations. Attention also needs to be paid to consequences for animal welfare of legal obligations to liberalize markets.
The research will contribute to the historical and conceptual groundwork and to the practical development of GAL by furnishing appropriate legal arguments and concepts, and should stimulate law reform by identifying legal gaps. To that end, the dispersed international (universal and regional, notably European) norms (hard and soft) on animal welfare must first be identified, mapped, and analyzed. Second, international and European law suits (before the ECJ, the ECHR, the ICJ, the WTO Dispute Settlement Bodies, etc.) and legal reform projects in the entire field are commented and criticized.
While international norms on animal welfare (as opposed to species protection) are currently not in place, the Council of Europe and the European Union have increasingly adopted legal norms on animal welfare, mostly in the agricultural context. Moreover, the European Court of Human Rights is developing case law on the interface between human rights and animal law. The regional body of law therefore invites study with a view to suggestions for the universalization of pertinent norms.
Methods: Research in GAL is usually interdisciplinary to the extent that it must draw on core findings of philosophy (ethics), biology (zoology), anthropology (human-animal studies), history, cultural studies, economics, and other disciplines. Research is often comparative and not limited to international law proper, because the relevant body of international law is very thin. The research thus involves both “horizontal” comparisons (among different national legal regimes) and “vertical” legal comparisons (among national, European, and international legal regimes).
Specific topics of study, inter alia, concern the structure of international rights for animals in comparison to human rights, the admissibility of extraterritorial animal protection laws, the conflict between free trade and animal protection, cultural relativism in animal law, conflicts between animal protection and human rights (freedom of research; freedom of religion, right to (animal) food), synergies between animal protection and human rights (such as the right to privacy, right to a healthy environment, right to (plant-based) food), food and distributive justice, and others.


Saskia Stucki


Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Master's Degree in Animal Law and Society,

EuroGroup for Animal Law Studies (EGALS)

Universität Basel, Juristische Fakultät, Doktoratsprogramm “Law and Animals”


Anne Peters erwähnt in: Koch Carole und Misteli Samuel: „Pioniere im Stall", NZZ Folio 7/2016, S. 38.

Anne Peters erwähnt in: Pinzler Petra, „Ein deutsches Tierleben", Die Zeit Nr. 21 vom 15. Mai 2014, S. 36.

„Brauchen Rind und Robbe eigene Rechte?“, Interview über das komplizierte Verhältnis von Mensch und Tier in der Basler Zeitung vom 10. April 2014, S. 23.

Vorträge und Wissenstransfer

27. Juli 2017: Anne Peters, „Haben Tiere Rechte?", Studiogespräch im Rahmen der Reihe „radioWissen" des Radiosenders Bayern 2.

16. Januar 2017: Anne Peters, „ Tierethik in der Grundlagenforschung", Podiumsdiskussion in der Generallverwaltung der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, München.

Link zum aufgezeichneten gesamten Vortrag

Link zur Kurzfassung

19. Januar 2016: Anne Peters,  „Globales Tierrecht und die Internationalisierung der Rechtsordnung", Antrittsvorlesung am Fachbereich Rechtwissenschaften der Freien Universität Berlin.

10. November 2015: Anne Peters, „Globales Tierrecht: Aktuelle Kontroversen", Universität Mannheim, Philosophische Fakultät.

4.-5. April 2014: Erste jährliche europäische Tierrechtskonferenz, „The Animal Turn and the Law", Universität Basel, Juristische Fakultät.


  • Peters, Anne, Saskia Stucki: Globales Tierrecht. In: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft Jahrbuch 2017 DOI 10.17617/1.3K (2017).
  • Peters, Anne: Tierwohl als globales Gut: Regulierungsbedarf und -chancen. In: MPIL Research Paper Series No. 2016-03, 2016. Tierwohl als globales Gut
  • Peters, Anne: Vom Tierschutzrecht zu Legal Animal Studies: Forschungsdesiderate und -perspektiven. In: Rechtswissenschaft Themenheft: Tiere und Recht Jahrgang 7 Heft 3, 325-337 (2016).
  • Peters, Anne (Mitherausgeberin): Rechtswissenschaft Themenheft: Tiere und Recht. Jahrgang 7, Heft 3. Nomos, Baden-Baden, 2016.
  • Peters, Anne: Tiere im Recht. In: Emma Nr. 4 (327), 86-89 (Juli/August 2016). Tiere im Recht (PDF, 3814.6 KB)
  • Peters, Anne: Liberté, Égalité, Animalité: Human-Animal Comparisons in Law. In: Transnational Environmental Law 5, 1-29 (2016). Liberté, Égalité, Animalité: Human-Animal Comparisons in Law (PDF, 215.1 KB)
  • Peters, Anne: Tier-Recht im Zeitalter des Menschen. In: Das Anthropozän - Zum Stand der Dinge, Jürgen Renn, Bernd Scherer (Hrsg.) Matthes & Seitz, Berlin 2015, 67-87.
  • Peters, Anne: Liberté, égalité, animalité. In: Kulturstiftung des Bundes Magazin 23 , 12-15 (2014). Liberté, égalité, animalité (PDF, 4833.7 KB)
  • Peters, Anne, Saskia Stucki, Livia Boscardin: The Animal Turn - What is it and Why Now?, 14. April 2014, The Animal Turn - What is it and Why Now?
  • Peters, Anne, Saskia Stucki: Vorschläge für eine tierfreundliche, verfassungskonforme und richtliniengetreue Umsetzung der EU-Tierversuchsrichtlinie in Deutschland. Schulthess, Zürich, 2014.

    Peters, Anne, Saskia Stucki, Livia Boscardin (Hrsg.): Animal Law: Reform or Revolution? Schulthess, Zürich, 2015.

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Wintersemester 2018/2019

Vorlesung: International Law and Animals

The Hague Academy of International Law, 14. - 18. Januar 2019

Wintersemester 2017/2018

Master in Animal Law and Society, Vorlesung: Global Animal Law: Cases and Controversies

Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, 23. - 25. Januar 2018

Wintersemester 2017/2018

Gastprofessur Seminar: Global Animal Law

The University of Michigan Law School, 18. September - 6. Oktober 2017

Sommersemester 2017

Master in Animal Law and Society, Vorlesung: Global Animal Law: Cases and Controversies

Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, 14. - 16. Juni 2017

Sommersemester 2016

Kolloquium: Internationales Umwelt- und Tierrecht

Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht, 31. Mai - 1. Juni 2016, 10:00-18:00 Uhr

Sommersemester 2016

Master in Animal Law and Society, Vorlesung: Global Animal Law: Cases and Controversies

Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, 21. - 23. April 2016

Sommersemester 2015

Master in Animal Law and Society, Vorlesung: Global Animal Law: Cases and Controversies

Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, 23. - 24. April 2015

Wintersemester 2014/2015

Interdisziplinäres Blockseminar zur Theorie der Mensch-Tier Beziehung (Anne Peters, MPI Heidelberg, und Bernd Ladwig, FU Berlin)

Berlin, 17. Oktober 2014, 29. November 2014 und 6./7. Februar 2015, jeweils 10.00-18.00 Uhr

Wintersemester 2013/2014

Master in Animal Law and Society, Vorlesung: Global Animal Law: Cases and Controversies

Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, 9. - 10. Januar 2014