LAW4230 - Animal law - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


This unit examines the ways in which Australian law defines and regulates the relationship between human and non-human animals. It introduces students to the key legal and ethical principles and regulatory regimes that relate to our treatment of animals. The unit examines the historical status of animals in law and considers competing philosophical theories and stakeholder interests that motivate the evolution of law in respect of animals. Students will analyse a selection of regulatory regimes under Australian state and federal law that apply to our interactions with animals, which may include: animals in scientific experimentation, in sport and entertainment, and in agriculture; the live export industry; companion animals; and wild animals. Although the primary focus of the unit will be upon the law in Australia, where relevant this will be compared to overseas jurisdictions.


A candidate who has successfully completed this subject should:

  1. demonstrate an appreciation of the policies and objectives underlying the regulatory schemes that apply to our treatment of animals;
  2. be in a position to critically analyse those policies and objectives in light of ethical considerations and international jurisprudence and to relate them to proposals for law reform;
  3. be in a position to provide basic legal advice to individuals, government actors, statutory bodies, corporations, and community groups as to their rights and obligations under the regulatory regimes that relate to the treatment of animals that are studied;
  4. communicate effectively, appropriately and persuasively on issues pertaining to Animal Law;
  5. have enhanced skills in legal research, reasoning and argumentation;
  6. learn and work autonomously and use feedback to improve their own capabilities and performance.


  1. A formative assessment task which is a non-graded hurdle requirement.
  2. (a) Optional written assignment (1500 words): 30% and final written examination (2 hours plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 70%;


    1. Final written examination including a 20% research component (2.5 hours plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


For students in the LLB Course:

LAW1104 Research and Writing and LAW1101 Introduction to Legal Reasoning

For students in the LLB(Hons) course:

Foundations of law

Criminal law 1

Public law & statutory interpretation


Contract A

Contract B

Property A

Constitutional law


For students in the LLB(Hons) course:


Corporations law