Maneesha Deckha

Professor Deckha graduated with her BA (Joint Honours in Anthropology and Political Science, minor in Women’s Studies) from McGill University in 1995 and her LLB from the University of Toronto in 1998. She joined the University of VIctoria Faculty of Law as an Assistant Professor in 2002, after practicing at the Ministry of the Attorney General in Toronto and completing her LLM at Columbia University. She is currently Professor and Lansdowne Chair at the Faculty of Law as well as Director of the Graduate Program. She also directs the Animals & Society Research Initiative at the University of Victoria.

Her research interests include critical animal law, feminist animal care theory, postcolonial theory, health law, and reproductive law and policy. Her interdisciplinary scholarship is dedicated to a feminist, postcolonial, and critical animals studies analysis of law and legality and has been supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

She is an inaugural a fellow of the Brooks Animal Studies Academic Network and author of Animals as Legal Beings: Contesting Anthropocentric Legal Orders (University of Toronto Press).

Jessica Eisen

Jessica Eisen is Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law, and was a graduate fellow of the Animal Law & Policy Program from 2015-2017. She gained her her SJD from Harvard Law School in 2019. Her dissertation focused on law and social change in the area of animal agriculture, and her fields of study include Animal Law (supervised by Prof. Kristen Stilt); Comparative Constitutional Law (supervised by Prof. Vicki Jackson); Feminist Legal Theory (supervised by Prof. Catharine MacKinnon); and Law and Social Movements (supervised by Dean Martha Minow).  Jessica has previously studied at Barnard College (BA, Political Science and Human Rights Studies); The University of Toronto Faculty of Law (JD); and Osgoode Hall Law School (LLM).

Her scholarship has been published in The Journal of Law and Equality, Animal Law Review, The Canadian Journal of Poverty Law, and Transnational Legal Theory. She is a member of the Ontario Bar, and has practiced in the areas of human rights, labor and employment, and constitutional law.  Jessica has served on the Board of Directors of the Toronto Vegetarian Association (2008-2011), and has been an active member of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund chapters at both the University of Toronto Faculty of Law (2007/2008) and Harvard Law School (2013-2019).

Jessica will be a keynote panelist presenting on Property, Personhood, or Something New: Reimagining the Legal Status of Animals.

Angela Fernandez

Angela Fernandez is an Full Professor at the Faculty of Law University of Toronto, where she is cross-appointed to the Department of History and teaches a course in animal law, as well as overseeing the production of the Brooks Animal Law Digest: Canada Edition and (in conjunction with the Bora Laskin Law Library) the Animal Law Research Guide.

She completed her LL.M. (2002) and J.S.D. (2007) at the Yale Law School. Her LL.B. and B.C.L. are from the Faculty of Law at McGill University, where she graduated from the National Program in 2000. She clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada in 2000-2001 for Justice Michel Bastarache. Professor Fernandez has had tenure since 2009. In 2017, Professor Fernandez became an Associate Editor of Book Reviews (Americas) for Law and History Review. She currently sits on the American Society of Legal History Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

She is also a member of the Board of Advisors for Animal Justice Canada and is a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. She was convener of a Working Group “Animals in the Law and Humanities” at the Jackman Humanities Institute of the University of Toronto from 2013-2017 and is currently part of the "Animal Law Lab" at the Faculty of Law.

Professor Fernandez is a member of the Brooks Institute for Animal Rights, Law & Policy collaborative research network BASAN (Brooks Animal Studies Academic Network) and is the inaugural scholar in the “Brooks-U” Video-Documentary Series on “Animal Law Fundamentals.”

Gary Francione

Professor Gary Francione received his B.A. in philosophy from the University of Rochester and his M.A. in philosophy and his J.D. from the University of Virginia. He studied philosophy in Great Britain as a Phi Beta Kappa Scholar. He was articles editor of the Virginia Law Review. After graduation, he clerked for the late Judge Albert Tate, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court. He practiced law in New York City before joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1984, where he was tenured in 1987. He joined the Rutgers faculty in 1989.

Professor Francione has been teaching animal rights theory and the law for more than 25 years. He has lectured on the topic throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, and has been a guest on numerous radio and television shows. He is well known throughout the animal protection movement for his criticism of animal welfare law and the property status of nonhuman animals, and for his theory of animal rights.

He is the author of numerous books and articles on animal rights theory and animals and the law. His most recent books, co-authored with Anna E. Charlton, are Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach (2015) and Eat Like You Care: An Examination of the Morality of Eating Animals (2013). Eat Like You Care has been translated into 12 languages.

His other books include The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition or Regulation?, which was published in 2010 by Columbia University Press; Animals as Persons: Essays on the Abolition of Animal Exploitation (2008); Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog? (2000); Animals, Property, and the Law (1995); Rain Without Thunder: The Ideology of the Animal Rights Movement (1996); and Vivisection and Dissection in the Classroom: A Guide to Conscientious Objection (with Anna E. Charlton) (1992).

Professor Francione is the co-editor (with Professor Gary Steiner) of a series, Critical Perspectives on Animals: Theory, Culture, Science and Law, published by Columbia University Press. He has also written in the areas of copyright, patent law, and law and science.

Professor Francione and his colleague, Adjunct Professor Anna Charlton, started and operated the Rutgers Animal Rights Law Clinic from 1990-2000, making Rutgers the first university in the U.S. to have animal rights law as part of the regular academic curriculum and to award students academic credit, not only for classroom work, but also for work on actual cases involving animal issues. Professor Francione currently teaches (with Adjunct Professor Charlton) a course on human rights and animal rights, and a seminar on animal rights theory and the law.

Professor Francione also teaches courses in criminal law, criminal procedure, torts, and evidence. He helped to start the undergraduate legal studies program and has taught Introduction to American Law, Criminal Law, and Animals: Ethics and Law to undergraduates.

Professor Francione will be a keynote panelist presenting on Property, Personhood, or Something New: Reimagining the Legal Status of Animals.

Kathryn Gillespie

Kathryn Gillespie is a feminist geographer and postdoctoral scholar at the University of Kentucky. Her work focuses on the everyday violence to which other species are subjected under capitalist and settler colonial regimes. She is the author of The Cow with Ear Tag #1389 (University of Chicago Press, 2018), a book about the lives and deaths of cows in the US dairy industry. She has also published in journals such as Politics and Animals, Environment and Planning A, Antipode, Animal Studies Journal, Hypatia, and Gender, Place & Culture.

Kathryn will be presenting “Five times the money”: Everyday acts of commodification, consumption, and desire at the “poultry” auction.

Will Kymlicka

Will Kymlicka is the Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy in the Philosophy Department at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada, where he has taught since 1998. He is the co-author with Sue Donaldson of Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights, published by Oxford University Press in 2011, and now translated into German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Turkish, Greek, Chinese and Polish. Zoopolis argues that animals belong at the heart of democratic political theory - defending rights of citizenship for domesticated animals and sovereignty rights for wild animals – and its ideas have helped launch the recent `political turn’ in animal ethics. Will and Sue have continued developing their model of a zoopolis, and its implications for animal advocacy, legal reform, and alliances with other social justice movements. Will directs the Animals in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Ethics research group at Queen’s University, including its postdoctoral fellowship program, and teaches courses in animals and political theory and in animals and the law.

Peter Li

Dr. Peter Li is associate professor at University of Houston-Downtown. He has since 2008 served as China Policy Specialist for Humane Society International, the global arm of the Humane Society of the United States.

Dr. Li’s research focuses on China’s animal law and policies. His publications cover public policy subjects related to wildlife trade and farming, companion animal regulation, intensive animal agriculture and impacts, and other related issues.  (For a select number of his publications, please visit here.).  His “Enforcing Wildlife Protection in China” is one of the most cited of his works. “Re-opening the Trade after SARS: China’s Wildlife Industry and the Fateful Policy Reversal” (Environmental Policy and Law, 50 (2020), pp. 251-267) is the most recent research paper on the consequences of the over-sized influence of the wildlife business interest in China’s wildlife policymaking. 

Dr. Li appears frequently in media interviews on behalf of the University of Houston system and Humane Society International. He writes frequently in different media outlets. His opinion pieces in South China Morning Post are accessible here

Dr. Li’s book Animal Welfare in China: Culture, Politics and Crisis (University of Sidney Press, 2021) focuses on China’s contemporary politics and its impact on animal welfare.

Dr. Li's will be presenting Culture or Politics: Animal Welfare Crisis in China.

Justin Marceau

Professor Marceau is a Professor of Law, the Brooks Institute Faculty Research Scholar of Animal Law and Policy, the Faculty director of the Animal Law Program, and an affiliated faculty member with the Institute for Human Animal Connections at the Graduate School of Social Work.

Prior to coming to the University of Denver Law School, Marceau was an assistant federal public defender specializing in capital habeas and a law clerk for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Before law school he spent a year living and working in Cairo, Egypt.

Marceau’s research focuses on criminal law and constitutional law, particularly as those areas intersect with social change. He specifically writes in the areas of Habeas Corpus, Constitutional Law, and Animal Law. His current research is at the intersection of animal law and criminal law.

Steven M. Wise

Steven M. Wise has practiced animal protection law for 36 years and animal rights law for three years. He was president of the Animal Legal Defense Fund from 1985 to 1995. He has written four books, including Rattling the Cage – Toward Legal Rights for Animals (2000), Drawing the Line – Science and the Case for Animal Rights (2003), Though the Heavens May Fall – The Landmark Trial That Led to the End of Human Slavery (2005), and An American Trilogy – Death, Slavery and Dominion on the Banks of the Cape Fear River (2009), as well as numerous law review articles on aspects of animal rights jurisprudence.

Wise has been president of the Nonhuman Rights Project, a civil rights organization working to attain legal rights for nonhuman animals since 1995. The Nonhuman Rights Project began filing a series of cases on behalf of chimpanzees in the courts of New York State in December, 2013, demanding that the courts recognize that chimpanzees are “persons” for the purpose of a common law and statutory writ of habeas corpus. The Nonhuman Rights Project has had published two law review articles about aspects of its work with three more articles having been accepted for publication. It is working with legal groups in seven countries to have nonhuman animals declared persons in those countries.

Steven will be a keynote panelist presenting on Property, Personhood, or Something New: Reimagining the Legal Status of Animals.


Doug Kysar

Professor Douglas Kysar is Deputy Dean and Joseph M. Field ’55 Professor of Law at Yale Law School. His teaching and research areas include torts, animal law, environmental law, climate change, products liability, and risk regulation. He received his B.A. summa cum laude from Indiana University in 1995 and his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1998. He has published articles on a wide array of environmental law and tort law topics, and is co-author of two leading casebooks, The Torts Process (9th ed. 2017) and Products Liability: Problems and Process (8th ed. 2016). In addition to his many articles and chapters, Kysar’s monograph, Regulating from Nowhere: Environmental Law and the Search for Objectivity (Yale University Press, 2010), seeks to reinvigorate animal and environmental protection and by offering novel theoretical insights on standing and inclusion, cost-benefit analysis, the precautionary principle, and sustainable development.

Jodi Lazare

Jodi Lazare is an assistant professor at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, where she teaches Animals and the Law, Family Law, and Constitutional Law. She holds a Doctor of Civil Law from McGill University and degrees in both Civil Law and Common Law from the University of Ottawa. Prior to joining Schulich, Jodi clerked for the Hon. Mr. Justice Michael J. Moldaver at the Supreme Court of Canada. Jodi’s work has been published in several Canadian law journals, including the Queen’s Law Journal, the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, and the McGill Journal of Law and Health. Jodi’s current research relates to the constitutionality of Canadian ag-gag legislation, the intersections between animal law and family law in disputes over companion animals, as well as the gendered economic impacts of family breakdown.

Jodi will be moderating Kathryn Gillespie's session “Five times the money”: Everyday acts of commodification, consumption, and desire at the “poultry” auction.

Angela Lee

Angela Lee is an Assistant Professor at the Lincoln Alexander School of Law at X University. She received her JD from the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC, and her PhD from the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Law. She has previously co-developed and co-taught Food Law at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, and taught Animals and the Law at the Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law in the winter 2020 term. She is a co-editor of Food Law and Policy in Canada (Carswell, 2019), and her research on topics relating to animals, food, technology, the environment, and feminism has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including the Animal Law Review, Canadian Food Studies, the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, and the Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues. She regularly shares her research at national and international fora.

Angela will be moderating Peter Li's session Culture or Politics: Animal Welfare Crisis in China.

Luís Cordeiro-Rodrigues

Luís Cordeiro-Rodrigues is associate professor at the Department of Philosophy, Yuelu Academy, Hunan University. He works on applied ethics (especially animal ethics and bioethics), critical race theory, and African philosophy. He has published in these topics in journals such as Bioethics, Journal of Value Inquiry, Environmental Ethics, Ethnicities, Public Health Ethics, amongst others. He has published several edited books, including Animals, Race, and Multiculturalism (Palgrave, 2017) and has a forthcoming book entitled Angolan Political Thought.

Luís will be moderating Justin Marceau's session Defining Carceral Animal Law, an Empirical Study of Carceral Animal Law, and Considering Paths Forward for Animals.