Johannesburg law firm hosts seminar that ushers in a new era for animal welfare
Leading law firm Hogan and Lovells helped launch a new era for animal welfare on 29th March this year when it hosted a seminar attended by some 50 lawyers – all of them determined to reform protection laws for South Africa’s animals. The seminar, titled Animals and the Law: Towards a More Humane Future, follows a Constitutional Court judgment on 8th December 2016 in which a full bench of judges were unanimous that the NSPCA has the right to institute private prosecutions if necessary. In addition the judgement noted that: - animals are sentient beings with intrinsic value as individuals - animal protection safeguards the moral status of humans
As main speaker, David Bilchitz, professor of Law at the University of Johannesburg and Director of the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law, said: “December 2016 saw a massive stride forward for animals in South African law. “The Constitutional Court judgment has opened the door for us to re-evaluate the law and give animals their entitlement to decent treatment.” The Concourt judgment, he said, had signalled that “we are required to enshrine modern thinking into any new act, and develop a strategy to ensure that statutory reform goes forward for the animals.” Story continues next page …
Concourt Judge Sisi Khampepe. The Concourt has set a new era for animals in motion.