France recommends the Master on Animal Law and Society of UAB

Biens meubles

In April 2012, in the context of the French debate on the classification of animals as movable things, “biens muebles”, the newspaper Le Monde published an article on the need to reform this status, which has been in force since the Napoleonic era, and therefore to modernize the French civil law, which has been the classical source of many European and overseas codifications. Despite the bill proposed by Jacques Remiller (member of parliament of the French party Union pour un Mouvement Populaire), who demanded the recognition of animals by the Code Civil as living beings with sensibility, "des êtres vivants doués de sensibilité", this project of reform has since been forgotten. In her article the journalist Catherine Vincent underlines the resistance of some lobbies to the change of the legal status of animals in France; the pressure exercised by these groups has been so strong, that it made any debate on the matter impossible.

If on one hand France is not making any progress in developing this legal aspect, on the other we find the Anglo-Saxon countries, which are already offering in more than 120 universities – as well as Harvard and Stanford – courses on animal law. To this regard the article also mentions the progressive Catalan vision and recommends the pioneer initiative of the “Master on Animal Law and Society” of the Faculty of Law at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, which has been since 2011 the first interdisciplinary European master on this topic.

According to Jean-Pierre Marguénaud, jurist of the Faculty of Law at the University of Limoges, director of the first European magazine on animal law, “Revue semestrielle de droit animalier” (Bi-Annual Review of Animal Law), and professor of the master at UAB, this issue has become a real social problem, which does not affect only the socio-professional lobbies. He has also recommended to his students the “Master on Animal Law and Society” at UAB.

Martina Pluda

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Information available also in Italian and German.

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