Placing the Animal in the Dialogue Between Law and Ecology

Research paper by Jamie Murray

Indexed on: 02 Jul '18Published on: 27 Jun '18Published in: Liverpool Law Review


This paper explores the growing dialogue between law and ecology, and asks if there is a promising space for the development of animal law in this growing dialogue. Specifically it sets up two meetings and dialogues between ecology and law, one with law prevailing, and one with ecology prevailing, The article pursues the later meeting of ecology and law through introducing and then compiling four prominent groupings in the ecology prevailing dialogue between ecology and law (Ecosystemic Law; Earth Jurisprudence; Resilience Theory; approaches embracing philosophical complexity theory). The article argues that in this dialogue that ecologically informed approaches develop a fundamental critique of orthodox legality, and that ecologically informed approaches consequently assume the problematic of legality, and that in so doing ecology and legality are each transformed. What emerges from these transformations is an ecological jurisprudence, and ideas of Emergent Law, Adaptive Law, and Ecolaw. In the final two sections the article turns directly to the place of the animal in the ecology prevailing dialogue between ecology and law. The article argues that in this dialogue affective assemblage theory has developed as a pre-prepared place for the animal as an affective body in complex social–ecological affective assemblages. The conclusion briefly draws out some of the implications for animal law and animal lawyers in taking up the conclusions from the ecology prevailing dialogue between law and ecology. The article suggests it may well be an exciting dialogue for animal law to find a place for exploration.