Carlos Contreras is the first Spanish doctor in animal law

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Last Friday, 23rd of May 2014, Carlos Andrés Contreras López, lawyer of the Pontifical Xavierian University of Bogotá, law graduate of the University of the Basque Country, coordinator of the Master in Animal Law and Society of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and member of the research group SGR-GRE: Animals, Law and Society, coordinated by Prof. Dr. Teresa Giménez-Candela, was conferred the title of doctor cum laude.

This is a big success since Dr. Contreras has been the first person in Spain to defend a doctoral thesis on animal law, titled, The Legal Status of Animals in Chile, Colombia, and Argentina (Proceedings, Codification, and Legislative Development), and which has come into being thanks to the funding of the I+D Project Animals, Law and Society: from Roman Law to Global Society, of the Ministry for Economy and Competitiveness (DER 2010-2013). Under the coordination of Prof. Dr. Teresa Giménez-Candela, this pioneer and ambitious project, deals with a topic which as of today has not been taken much in consideration by the doctrine and is therefore the starting point of this thesis, which realizes a study on the consideration of animals as things from the Roman legal system to the Latin-American civil codes and the legal development of animal protection in Chile, Colombia, and Argentina. In actual fact this work offers a completely new compared study.

A selected tribunal of experts has been present on Friday to vouch the quality of this work and has shared important and pertinent feedback, as well as valuable points of view for the future researches of Dr. Contreras. Firstly, Prof. Dr. Robert T. Hall, professor of bioethics of the Autonomous University of Querétaro, underlined the ethical aspects that lead to the necessity of legislation in the field of animal law. Secondly, the President of the tribunal, Prof. Dr. José Javier de los Mozos Touya, professor of Roman law at the University of Valladolid and founding member of the “Tordesillas” Centre for the Relationships with Latin America, referred to the development of the sources that from Roman law, the Law of Castilla, all the way to French law have influenced the codification process in Latin America. He also mentioned legal aspects regarding the property of animals, such as the actio de pauperie, as well as philosophical aspects, with references to Descartes, Pico della Mirandola, and Donellus. Finally, a discussion regarding the possible content of a legal definition of animals (as things, persons or in a third category) took place, upon which Prof. Dr. David Favre, expert of animal law of the Michigan State University College of Law, has been working for years.

We also remind you that both the members of the tribunal and Dr. Contreras will speak on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th of July at the second Global Animal Law Conference, which will take place for the first time at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (for more information visit: They will be among the 28 speakers from over 15 countries, brought together to discuss the many and varied animal law issues and challenges.

Carlos Contreras

The tribunal: : Prof. Dr. Robert T. Hall, Prof. Dr. José Javier de los Mozos Touya, Prof. Dr. David Favre

Carlos Contreras

The newly Dr. Contreras with Prof. Dr. José Javier de los Mozos Touya, Prof. Dra. Teresa Gimenez-Candela, Prof. Dr. Robert T. Hall, and Prof. Dr. David Favre.

Carlos Contreras

Carlos Contreras defending his doctoral thesis.

Carlos Contreras

Friends, colleagues, and spectators.

Martina Pluda

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