New Jersey Bill Would Establish Pilot Program for Courtroom Animal Advocates

New Jersey S282 would establish a two-year pilot “Statewide Animal Advocate Program” and authorize courts overseeing “any . . . criminal proceeding that affects the welfare or care of an animal” to appoint a volunteer advocate from a list of appropriate attorneys and law students “to represent the best interests of, and justice for, the animal.” The bill is based on “Desmond’s Law” in Connecticut and is a carryover from the previous legislative session. The bill was referred to the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.