Global Animal Law GAL Project for animals in the law
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Who we are
Gal Experts

As of 27 May 2016, the funding body of the Global Animal Law Project is the Global Animal Law GAL ASSOCIATION. It has its registered office in Zürich at Höschgasse 68 and is exempt from gift and inheritence tax.

The president, founder and CEO is Dr.iur. Antoine F. Goetschel; an additional board member is Marco Gianini.

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Antoine F. Goetschel
Antoine F. Goetschel - © Claudia Brijbag

Antoine F. Goetschel is a Swiss Lawyer and International Animal Law and Ethics Consultant, GAL President.

His work and research is mainly related to animal law and animal ethics at local, national and international level.


He studied at the Faculty of Law & Political Science at the University of Zurich. In 1986, he received the title of Attorney at Law. After writing two scientific books on animal rights and welfare, he graduated in 1989 as a Doctor of Law (J.D.) from the University of Zurich with a thesis on animal welfare and basic rights.

He has dedicated his career to animal issues in national/international law and ethical practice, and works as a lecturer at the Law Department of the University of Zurich. He has been involved in providing better legal protection to humans, animals and the environment for thirty years. His views have appeared in various books and articles, mostly in German. “Tiere klagen an” (S. Fischer/Scherz-Verlag, 2012) was his latest.

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In 30 years of professional work, I have helped those who have no voice - animals. I have worked on the most interesting of criminal cases and know their legal risks. My experience includes animals in private, constitutional, administrative and criminal law as well as animal ethics and animals in society.

From 2007 to 2010, I was the "lawyer for animal protection in criminal matters" in the Canton of Zurich. I have officially represented animals in trials against animal cruelty and cases where the animal welfare law was broken. I have made a big input to the legal system in Switzerland where an animal is no longer viewed as “a thing” in law but as a living being. I have been involved in more than 700 cases as an animal lawyer. In addition to this, I helped with the inclusion of the "Würde der Kreatur" (dignity of creation) paragraph in Switzerland's Federal Constitution (1992).

I work with universities and teach at the Zurich Law School. I have spoken at many conferences around the world and also held a four-week lecture series in Australia in 2013. Because of this experience, I enjoy speaking to large, academic, politically-interested and critical audiences.

Practical approach:

I see myself as the middle-man between universities, animal welfare organizations, law-makers and the media. My aim is to give animal welfare a legal and ethical base.
I view everything practically. The tasks of universities focus on research – theory-based or scientific-based. On the other hand, the role of animal welfare organizations is often just about uncovering abuse and it is not often that the legal approach is ignored. These organizations do not expect the majority to like the solutions.

For me, the solution is about cooperation – between universities, government, animal welfare organizations and the media. It is also about providing the solution with a legal basis. I show understanding for all parties - the Federal Council, the universities, the farmers and the media.

Independence:

Independence is important to me. I am not involved in any organization. This ensures that my thoughts and actions are free of such influences. I lobby for animal interests as a freelancer. In this role I launched and started the GAL project.

My view:

I am convinced that it is of great importance for us, as individuals and as a society, to create a healthy relationship with animals – a relationship that treats them fairly and one that gives us humans a good conscience. If we reject this relationship, either on purpose or because of limited knowledge, human character and behavior will suffer. And this will have a long term negative affect on human relations.

Among the majority of the population there is no consistent behavior or thinking towards animal protection. So how do we deal with it in general? It does not help to point at holes in the system when there is possibly no system in place.

The two cornerstones for the protection of animals are animal ethics and animal welfare legislation. The one is the basis for the other. Clear and consistent legislation for the protection of animals needs ethical foundations. These principles must be made by theologians and philosophers. Clear ethical concepts are the basis for a legal system. The reason why animals should be better positioned in law is the most important point. It is easy to support animal protection in general and for them to be raised humanely. An ethical basis is needed however, when details become more complicated.

Should all animals be protected, not only great apes and whales, but also pets and even invertebrates? Does such protection stop animals being killed for food? Can we stop animals enjoying freedom even if they have a "good life" in their prisons? These and many other questions can only be dealt with in the same way once we have decided what the basic ethical concepts are.

Animal dignity – the importance and value of an animal, is one of the most important things to be recognized in modern times. It is therefore very important that we view everything when looking at animals and give them not only welfare rights but also accept their basic interests and values. This involves much more than simply stopping suffering and pain. If we take the concept of dignity as the basis, not only simple questions on livestock production and slaughtering are looked at, but others such as keeping pets, using animals for therapeutic uses and using them as "love objects".

Switzerland has made a promising start with regard to this. In 1992 a section on animal dignity ("Würde der Kreatur" – dignity of creation) was added to Federal Constitution. An Animal Welfare Act also followed. Other countries have since followed Switzerland’s example.

In recent years, I have seen how the interest to improve the legal position of animals has grown. I am now offering my experience and knowledge more and more to international lobbying groups. Here, I am calling for real structural improvements to the legal status of animals in the constitution, in law and in law enforcement.

More: http://www.afgoetschel.com/en/animal-lawyer.html

Sabine Brels
Sabine Brels

Sabine Brels, LL.D in Law and GAL Manager. 

Her work, research and teaching are focussing on international and comparative animal law.


She loves animals and nature and has always wanted to dedicate her life to their protection.

After her first degree in ecology from Cadiz University in Spain, she graduated with a law degree in Montpellier, France (her home city). Then she did her LL.M (Masters in International Environmental Law) in Laval University, Quebec (Canada). She has currently finished her LL.D (Doctorate in international animal law) at the same university. She was awarded the famous Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship and her work is often published in French, English and Spanish animal law reviews. During her doctorate, she also attended various conferences on the globalization of animal welfare law around the world.

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In the past, she has also worked as a legal consultant for various organizations: intergovernmental organizations (Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (UNEP) and the Ramsar convention); non-governmental organizations (WWF international); and research centers (CIRAD for the IMoSEB Project and the University of California Berkley for the Moorea Biocode Project).

She is now extremely honored to work with Dr. Antoine F. Goetschel as a co-creator of the GAL Project. With a common purpose, they truly hope that this project will bring everyone together to help make this world a better place for animals. 

Thank you for your interest in this project, in the name of all the animals on earth.

SB

Marco Gianini
Marco Gianini

Marco Gianini is GAL Operation Manager and Member of the Managing Board of Global Animal Law GAL Association, Bachelor solicitor, long-standing publisher, translator and interpreter.

Address:
Global Animal Law GAL Association
Höschgasse 68 - 8008 Zurich/Switzerland
Phone: +41 43 499 19 09
mg@globalanimallaw.org

Gal Expert Group

All animal lawyers, from students to professors, are invited to be part of the GAL Expert group! In order to become a fox (member of the GAL Expert group), please contact us at info@globalanimallaw.org. To register, all you have to do is send us your details: name, title, institution, email, and, if you want, a picture of you as well, plus as a short summary of your work and interests in animal law. You can also invite animal lawyers that you know, either friends or colleagues, to become foxes too! As the first international expert group in animal law, we hope that you will be proud to be part of the foxes family!

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Supporters

As directors of the GAL project, we, Antoine & Sabine, would like to thank all family, friends and colleagues for their great support. Because all of you gave us faith and strength to listen to our hearts, follow our inspiration, and believe in the future enough to set up this project.

A special warm thanks to You All!

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First of all, a Huge Thanks to all the GAL Team for the realization of this beautiful project : Antoine F. Goetschel, Sabine Brels, Alexie Etile, Christophe Jung, Andreas Röthe et Natasha Meier.

Antoine says THANK YOU for all your support of the GAL Project to: Assunta Amatucci, Dana Campbell, Moïse Delaquis, Bertrand Flietner, Marco Gianini, E. Gimmi, Evelyn Goetschel, Oliver Goetschel, Philipp Gut, Ruth Hatten, Josef Hauri, Roswita Königswieser, Ulrich Königswieser, Nina Krucker, Sabine Lennkh, Elaine Nicholls, Sarah Notter, Adriano Passardi, Rajesh Ramani, Manoj Rauniar, Heribert Rausch, Ursula Reichmuth, Katja Richard, Daniela Lou Rieg, Andrea Rutishauser, Simonne Pianto, Beatrix Schenk, Christoph Schmocker, Katrina Sharman, Brian Sherman, Jeannette Stauber, Oliver Wackernagel.

Sabine: All my familly and friends, with especially: Evelyne Faure, Janine Faure, Jean-Louis Brels, Manon Couderc, Philippe Gouy, Marie Koelf, Jade Pollack, Evans Fouché, Sabine Minsky, Alain Bonal, Geneviève Villata, Alexie Etilé, Marie Faure, Nicolas Faure, Catherine Diebler, Axel Marcos et Dominique Morin.

With a devoted life for animals too: Pauline Faure, Dirk-Jan Verdonk, Clothilde Capus, David Coates, Jérôme Dumarty, Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer, Valéry Giroux, Elise Desaulniers, Renan Larue, Frédéric Côté-Boudreau, Christiane Bailey, Patrick Llored, Brigitte Gauthière, Elodie Ventura, Dominique Droz, Joelle Verdier, Melvin Josse, Marita Gimenez-Candela, Peter Fitzgerald, Jennifer Dietz, Mohsen Kayal, Olivier Le Bot, Nicolas Maslach, David Olvier, Lyne Létourneau, Richard Ouellet, Martine Lachance, Loïs Lelanchon, Thierry Auffret Van Der Kemp, Georges Chapouthier, Jean-Marc Neumann, Christian Razeau, Karine-Lou Matignon, Gieri Bolliger, Vanessa Gerritsen, Sophie Duthoit, Caroline Guion, Hélène Thouy, Steven White, Sophie Gaillard, Estiva Reus et David Chauvet.