Since our inception more than 80 years ago, NAVS’ determination to advance justice for animals has been tireless. And we continue to make a difference through both action and interaction; vigilance without the kind of vigilante mentality that engenders extremist acts of violence and terrorism (both of which NAVS unequivocally abhors and condemns).
The NAVS offensive begins with our legal/legislative staff tracking and commenting on legislation and regulatory measures affecting animals. Our efforts to make the voice of animal advocacy heard go on to include:
- Monitoring the effectiveness of regulatory oversight.
- Submitting comments to lawmakers on proposed legislation.
- Regularly writing letters to the editors of influential newspapers and magazines.
- Lecturing at law schools and participating in legal symposia on behalf of NAVS supporters.
- Disseminating free e-mail alerts like Take Action Thursday and Science First, which tell readers how they can make a difference every day.
- Sponsoring internships and externships for law students.
Beyond using our resources for everyday advocacy, NAVS has developed a chain of other programs and initiatives aimed at igniting legal change:
More than a decade ago, NAVS recognized a shortfall in the materials available to advocates and attorneys who needed to know more about animal law issues. A number of programs were initiated, the most ambitious of which was AnimalLaw.com, a web site providing access to information about legislation and legal matters pertaining to animals. All information on the site (along with a number of other features) may be accessed free of charge:
- Current Laws and Legislation
- Model Laws
- Case Law Summaries
- Animal in the News
- Bibliography of Animal Law Resources
Other topics explored on AnimalLaw.com include issues of animal cruelty, animal control, laboratory animal welfare, and the use of animals in both education and product testing. Much of the research is done by law student interns, giving them vital exposure to the broad scope of animal law outside the classroom.
International Institute for Animal Law
NAVS established the International Institute for Animal Law to encourage the development of legal scholarship and advocacy skills on behalf of animals. Set up as an independent not-for-profit organization composed of a renowned and experienced group of attorneys and judges from around the world, the Institute is dedicated to creating and supporting programs that will enhance the development of laws that protect animals.
The Institute fosters scholarly discussion of the varied and complex issues surrounding the relationship between human and nonhuman animals and how they influence animal advocacy, including joint programs with The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
National Research Library for Animal Advocacy
NAVS’s Research Library for Animal Advocacy was founded in 1995 as a joint project of NAVS and The John Marshall Law School to form a tangible resource for students and educators seeking information on the many facets of animal law, from its philosophical underpinnings to current case law material.
Since 1996, the “NAVS Collection” has served as the repository of an important and unique collection on animal rights and animal law. In collaboration with NAVS, the Louis L. Biro Law Library of The John Marshall Law School maintains this special collection. These materials are located on the 6th floor of the Library in stack 6:11. At present, there are hundreds of titles in the collection.
The collection serves not only patrons at The John Marshall Law School but members of NAVS and researchers nationwide. Please contact NAVS for permission to use this collection if you are not a current student, staff or faculty member of JMLS, alum of JMLS or current CBA member.
The Bibliography of Animal Law Resources, which was developed as a first step in gathering these resources, was originally available in a print edition. However, that quickly became obsolete as new scholarship was published and additional resources were added. This document – updated regularly – is currently available at AnimalLaw.com.
A New Perspective: Seeking Justice for Animals Through the Power of the Law
This groundbreaking publication surveys the broad landscape of animal law issues, including a full definition of animal law, a history of animal advocacy and an objective assessment of animal standing under today’s laws. Copies are now available to the public through law school libraries nationwide, as well as from NAVS upon request.
Animal Law Seminars
In collaboration with The John Marshall Law School, DePaul University’s School of Law and the Chicago Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee, NAVS has sponsored and co-sponsored numerous seminars over the years. These seminars are open to the public, (although at times the co-sponsoring institution charges a nominal attendance fee).
Watch NAVS postings for any new forums on animal law issues, and click here to view some of the recent topics covered.