Daria Chernyaeva, LL.M, PhD,
Head, Life Scicences Law Subdepartment,
Academic director, Master's program "Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Law"
Law Faculty, National Research University "Higher School of Economics" (Moscow, Russia)
The idea of animal rights was an integral part of our family beliefs. My mother was a zoologist and loved to tell me stories about laboratory animals and pets instead of fairy tales. Books about animals formed a visible part of my library. Now being a grown-up law professor, I created and headed the Life Sciences Law Subdepartment whose charter officially mentions animal law as one of the aims of its creation in the field of teaching and research. As far as I know, it was the first subdepartment of this kind in our part of the world. My academic interests embrace theories behind the idea of animal status in law and the law on animal testing. I am also involved with non-profits working in animals/pets protection and invite representatives of various animal law organizations and groups to speak at the events and classes about legal issues in their activities. It both shows the vitality of the subject and provides students with real-life information, allows them to address the most pressing problems, sometimes really helping to solve them. I also authored a course in law and bioethics in which animal law issues were always a part of the syllabus (this year, I passed the course on to my younger colleague). Recently I authored and offered my current course in animal law which attracted so much interest that we had to double the initially planned number of students allowed to register for the course.