Law and the Question of the Animal: A Critical Jurisprudence, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Law and the Question of the Animal

A Critical Jurisprudence, 1st Edition

Edited by Yoriko Otomo, Edward Mussawir


208 pages

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This book addresses the problem of ‘animal life’ in terms that go beyond the usual extension of liberal rights to animals. The discourse of animal rights is one that increasingly occupies the political, ethical and intellectual terrain of modern society. But, although the question of the status of animals holds an important place within a range of civil, political and technological disciplines, the issue of rights in relation to animals usually just rehearses the familiar perspectives of legal, moral and humanist philosophy. ‘Animal law’ is fast becoming a topic of significant contemporary interest and discussion. This burgeoning interest has not, however, been matched by renewed inquiry into the jurisprudential frames and methods for the treatment of animals in law, or the philosophical issue of the ‘human’ and the ‘animal’ at law’s foundation. Responding to this interest, this book brings together leading and emerging critical legal theorists to address the question of animality in relation to law’s foundations, practices and traditions of thought. In so doing, it engages a surprisingly underdeveloped aspect of the moral philosophies of animal rights, namely their juridical register and existence. How does ‘animal law’ alter our juridical image of personality or personhood? How do the technologies of law intersect with the technologies that invent, create and manage animal life? And how might the ethical, ontological and ceremonial relation between humans and animals be linked to a common source or experience of law?


'I have been challenged and excited - at the same time! - by the original insights contained in some of the chapters of Law and the Question of the Animal' - John Mancy, Editor for Australian Animal Protection Law Journal

'Yoriko Otomo and Ed Mussawir’s Law and the Question of the Animal: A Critical Jurisprudence is an innovative collection of essays.' - Maneesha Deckha, University of Victoria, Canada for Social & Legal Studies (Vol. 23(1) 131–148, 2014)

'Law and the Question of the Animal has value for the original way it positions the concept animal within so many diverse human legal contexts. Perhaps pragmatists, or event activists, will find food for thought in the way these papers address the binary jursiprudential catagorizations that humans use to frame our interactions with animals.' - Darren J. Furey, Queen Elizabeth II Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Table of Contents

Introduction, Yoriko Otomo and Ed Mussawir (editors); PART 1: Person: Chapter 1: Human and Animal as Bureaucratic Artefacts, Alain Pottage; Chapter 2: TBA, Tucker Culbertson; Chapter 3: Personal Jurisdiction in the Field of Animal Law: The Masks in Becoming-Jurisprudential, Ed Mussawir; Chapter 4: The Animal and the Creature: Law and Personation in Agamben, Connal Parsley; PART 2: Technology: Chapter 5: Specimen of the Other: Taxonomies of the Animal in Law and Science, Lee Godden; Chapter 6: Inventing Animals, Cressida Limon; Chapter 7: Whipping to Win: Measured Violence, Delegated Sovereignty and Privitised Domination of Non Human Life, Dinesh Wadiwel; PART 3: Commons: Chapter 8: Impossible Difference: Biodiversity and its Proper Names, Yoriko Otomo; Chapter 9: ‘Like Water in Water’: Animality, Law and Finitude, Marc Trabsky; Chapter 10: Honouring of Laws, Shaun McVeigh; Chapter 11: TBA, Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos

About the Editors

Yoriko Otomo is based at Birkbeck School of Law; Ed Mussawir is based at Melbourne law School

About the Series

Law, Justice and Ecology

In an age of climate change, scarcity of resources, and the deployment of new technologies that put into question the very idea of the 'natural', this book series offers a cross-disciplinary, novel engagement with the connections between law and ecology. The fundamental challenge taken up by the series concerns the pressing need to interrogate and to re-imagine prevailing conceptions of legal responsibility, legal community and legal subjectivity, by embracing the wider recognition that human existence is materially embedded in living systems and shared with multiple networks of non-humans.

Encouraging cross-disciplinary engagement and reflection upon relevant empirical, policy and theoretical issues, the series pursues a thoroughgoing, radical and timely exploration of the multiple relationships between law, justice and ecology.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Environmental
LAW / Jurisprudence