Global Animal Law, since 2020

A globalized problem requires a global solution: Today's animal law suffers from a mismatch between almost exclusively national legislation on the one hand and the global dimension of the problems requiring regulation on the other. While attention to animal law is increasing within individual jurisdictions, states can no longer effectively regulate animals unilaterally. The much-lamented governance gap created by globalization also affects animals. The need for global (as opposed to purely national) regulation and legal analysis, for global animal law, arises from the fact that virtually all aspects of (commodified) human-animal interactions (from food production and distribution, to working animals, to animal use in research, to the breeding and keeping of companion animals) have a transboundary dimension. Legal regulations on animals, their status, welfare, and potentially their rights can only be effective if they are enacted at both the national and international levels and in the form of governmental or intergovernmental regulations and nongovernmental standards.
From a number of subfields, such as human rights law, commercial law, food and agricultural law, health law, and environmental law, each in its transnational and international dimensions, a new legal field of Global Animal Law is emerging. Global animal law is an umbrella term that allows researchers* to grasp the complex nature and characteristics of relevant legal issues and thus better analyze, critique, and advance the legal regimes that govern animals worldwide. Broadly speaking, "global" law is a regulatory mix that combines a variety of different types of norms. In addition to the various "layers" of national, international, supranational, and regional or sub-state law, the regulatory web consists of standards created by states and private actors, thus including standards developed by industry, often in collaboration with government agencies. Finally, it includes both hard and soft law, ranging from codes and international conventions to declarations by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which often operate transnationally. Global Animal Law also encompasses issues that are currently only addressed in national law. This project, led by Prof. Anne Peters, Director of the MPI for International Law and Public International Law in Heidelberg, involves 113 researchers from 57 countries.
Prof. Dr. Martínez is responsible for the chapter "Farmed Animal Welfare in Europe" in the "Handbook on Global Animal Law", which will be edited and published by Oxford University Press in 2022.