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Faculty of Law Center for Animal Law and Ethics(CALE)

Visiting Researcher

Professor Maneesha Deckha is delighted to be a Visiting Scholar at the University of Zurich Faculty of Law, affiliated with the newly-launched Centre for Animal Law and Ethics under the co-direction of Professor Dr. Margot Michel and Prof. Dr. iur. utr. Brigitte Tag. Professor Deckha is a leading scholar in the field of animal law and ethics, and particularly known for her expertise in addressing how animal issues relate to questions of human rights and social justice addressed by feminist and postcolonial theories.

At the University of Zurich, Professor Deckha will use this theoretical lens to address, from a policy and socio-legal perspective, the continued ubiquitous use of animals in human-health related scientific research despite the long-standing global commitment to the 3R model to reduce reliance on animals in human scientific inquiries and also to replace them. Professor Deckha will consider the inequities in the global health system and how that reality qualifies and contests the primary rationale proffered for using animals in scientific research —that it promotes universal human health. Her research will explore the partial nature of the type of human that stands to benefit from most animal-reliant health-related research. Professor Deckha will also consider how to formulate a Swiss-specific pathway for fulfilling the replacement commitment in the 3Rs model given the legal landscape for animals in Switzerland as well as recent international developments.

During her time at the Centre for Animal Law and Ethics, Professor Deckha will also be a Senior Fellow at the interdisciplinary centre, the Collegium Helveticum, where she will pursue the above questions as well as convene a Symposium that brings together scholars, scientists, and policy decision-makers. The Symposium will spotlight how universities can catalyze a broader policy and legal change for replacing animals in the scientific research they presently normalize and lead a societal transition to scientific models that do not test on animals. For more information on the symposium, see Symposium: Accelerating Replacement: Toward Animal-free Science Research at Swiss Universities.

Professor Deckha will also be a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law in Spring 2024 to teach a seminar with Dr. Michel on the topic of animals, culture, and the law. The seminar will permit students to address issues affecting animals in Switzerland and internationally across a range of industries and practices and to learn the cutting-edge doctrinal and critical theories justifying stronger moral and legal regard for animals.