Report from the Closing Ceremony of the In-Class Section of the Second Edition

Crónica del acto de clausura
On Friday June 7, 2013, the closing ceremony of the in-class section of the Second Edition of the Master in Animal Law and Society took place in the Great Hall of the Faculty of Law in the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB).

The ceremony included the presence of friends and family of the Students of the Masters Program; former students of previous editions; Moe Honjo, a student from Japan in Animal Law in Lewis & Clark University, who is currently performing her internship with the Research Group Animals, Law and Society (ADS) of the UAB directed by Professor Giménez-Candela; Daniel Parsons and Carlos Contreras, Academic and Student Coordinators of the Masters; the Attorney Anna Mulà, Professor of the Masters Program; Dr. Miriam Cugat, Professor of the Masters and Associate Professor of Criminal Law in the UAB; Steven Wise, Attorney and Professor of Animal Law, who was in charge of closing the teaching period of the Master, with a series of conferences that took place on June 6 and 7, entitled Legal Personhood And The Nonhuman Rights Project; and the Director of the Master, Professor Teresa Giménez-Candela.

At 7 p.m. with farewells and words of appreciation by Professor Giménez-Candela the closing ceremony started. Professor Giménez-Candela encouraged Mr. Loïs Laïmene , a student of the Masters Program, to speak first. He gave his speech in English on behalf of the students to all those present. After giving thanks, Mr. Laïmene, who has always planned to pursue a professional career in the world of Animal Law, reminded everyone that he came from France to continue his education in the UAB as this is the only European University that offers a Masters Degree in Animal Law and Society. In the words of Mr. Laïmene “The diversity and the quality of all the professors is the strength of this program.” Mr. Laïmene underlined the need for previous study in Law to achieve effective changes in society. At the end, he congratulated his fellow students and highlighted the importance that the program had for him, which, in spite of the diversity of opinions that arose over the course of the program when different topics were brought up, as the debates in the classroom and out of them were always produced in an academic environment of mutual respect.

Following Mr. Laïmene’s presentation, Dr. Giménez-Candela encouraged another Student of the Master, Julia Havenstein, to give a brief description in English of the topics learned during the Master, highlighting the importance of developing and constructing a discourse on the topic within global thought. The former had been achieved thanks to the Master, as during the course, the legal status of animals in different countries and cultures are analyzed. For Ms. Havenstein, the Master is without a doubt an indispensable professional education in order to work in the field of Animal Law and Animal Protection.

Next, Professor Miriam Cugat gave her presentation, representing the Professors of the Master, who analyzed and highlighted the advances that have come about in recent years in the Spanish Penal Code and Jurisprudence with regards to animal abuse and abandonment. Professor Cugat also recounted to the attendees her personal experience from the moment when she joined the Master as a Professor and how her commitment, interest and motivation in Animal Law have increased over time.

Next, Professor Steven Wise, spoke to congratulate the students and the Director of the Master for their effort they’ve shown so far this year. Professor Wise shared with the public his work and experience as an Attorney in Animal Law for more than 30 years, reminding them first hand of the first steps taken in the United States on the topic, together with important professors such as David Favre, with whom he has maintained a close friendship over the years. The discourse by Professor Wise, who is a pioneer in the topic, was, without a doubt, very inspiring to all those present, but in particular to the students who wish to dedicate their professional lives to the service of Law and the Protection of Animals.

The round of presentations came to a close with the words of the Director of the Master, Professor Teresa Giménez-Candela, who gave a very clear message to the Students and to all the attendees of the ceremony: 'navigare necesse est' (to sail is necessary), that, in spite of the difficulties that arise in trying to improve the situation of the Animals in the Law, it is important to maintain the hope, commitment and interest demonstrated by all during the course. Professor Giménez-Candela motivated the students to continue working with enthusiasm in the tasks that remain in order to obtain the title of Master in Animal Law: the Final Research Project and the Curricular Internship. But above all, she motivated them to leave their mark on any efforts that they dedicate themselves to in the favor of animals.

Later, from the hands of the Student Coordinator of the Masters, Mr. Carlos Contreras, a gift was given to each of the Students of the Master in Animal Law and Society and the Course Animals, Law and Society by the Direction of the Master, consisting of a Photo Collage of the Professors and the Students, as a visual reminder of their time in the Masters Program.

Later, the Direction of the Master offered all the attendees an aperitif in the hall adjacent to the Great Hall. At this time, the students provided the Director of the Master Dr. Giménez-Candela with a bouquet of flowers as a symbol of their appreciation for the creation and the organization of the Master, as well as for her availability to receive them and always listen to them when they needed it. The students also provided a Bottle of Champagne to the Academic and Student Coordinators, in a cordial environment of mutual respect

Photos from the Closing Ceremony
Speech of prof. M. Giménez-Candela
Speech of Míriam Cugat
Speech of Loïs Laïmene
Speech of Julia Havenstein

Click on a photo to enlarge it
Julia Havenstein, Prof. Wise, Dra. Giménez-Candela, Dra. Miriam Cugat and Loïs Laimene Julia Havenstein Dra. Giménez-Candela Dra. Miriam Cugat and Loïs Laïmene

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