Marita’s academic specialty is the study of law in the field of legal comparison, both in classical antiquity and in today’s global society. Her interest in the legal status of animals goes back to her doctoral thesis, which dealt with the criminal treatment of slaves which is well understood to be similar to the treatment of animals. In recent years, her academic teaching and research has focused on the legal status of animals and on improving legal strategies to further animal welfare.
Having held the position of Professor of Roman Law since 1986, Professor Gimenez-Candela, also started to teach Animal Law and Animal Welfare Law at the law school of the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in 2006. This was the first time such a course was offered in a Spanish faculty of law. She is also the director of the Postgraduate Program, Animals, Law and Society, which started during the academic year 2010-2011 and is director of the Masters in Animal Law and Society program, which started during the academic year 2011-2012 and is the first of its kind in Europe. In addition, Marita is the director of the research group ADS (Animales, Derecho y Sociedad) and founder and editor of the website www.derechoanimal.info, which includes the first database in Spain about animal legislation and case law. She is also the founding member of the European Group of Animal Law Studies (EGALS).
Marita shares her home with two dogs, Hudson and Bond, and enjoys listing to opera, gardening and outdoor sports in her spare time.