TRANSDISCIPLINARY AND LEGAL COLLOQUIUM ON ANIMAL SENSITIVITY
Under the scientific direction of Aloïse QUESNE, Senior Lecturer in Private Law
Animal sensitivity: legal approaches and transdisciplinary issues (23 October 2020 – CAEN)
Impelled by the Normandy Chair for Peace, this colloquium was organized under the scientific direction of Mrs. Aloïse QUESNE, Associate Professor in private law at the University of Paris-Saclay, Evry Val d’Essonne and Associate Member of the Demolombe Institute of the University of Caen Normandy.
Placed under the high patronage of Jean-Paul COSTA, President of the René Cassin Foundation, Honorary State Councillor and former President of the European Court of Human Rights, the colloquium was open to the continuing education of professionals (lawyers, veterinarians…). The Bar Association of Caen was also a partner of the conference and Maître Gaël Balavoine, President of the Bar, honored us with his presence.
17 speakers from the four corners of France, but also from Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy and Canada, took part in both face-to-face and distance learning sessions. The first of its kind in Normandy, this international and transdisciplinary conference, dedicated to animal sensitivity and the improvement of animal protection through law, has allowed us to reflect on the notion of animal sensitivity but also on the different practices and legislations, giving the possibility to be inspired by those which are the most advanced in terms of animal protection. The holding of this colloquium, within a French University, will also have contributed to the evolution of mentalities, which is the necessary starting point for any improvement of the animal condition and, consequently, for a better harmonization of the relations between humans and animals.
The proceedings of the conference will be published in 2021 by PETER LANG International Editions. You can find the entirety of the interventions in videos on the following link.
This event is placed under the high patronage of Jean-Paul COSTA, President of the René Cassin Foundation, Honorary State Councillor and former President of the European Court of Human Rights.
Animal protection has entered the political arena. For the first time in history, eleven animal rights political parties, spread across Europe, participated in the 2019 European elections. The European animalist parties received nearly 2,000,000 votes. The French Animalist Party, founded in 2016, received more than 2.2% of the vote. The citizens’ vote demonstrates that respect for animals is an important issue and that the question of their protection is a debate of general interest. The Civil Code, a reflection of French society, has moreover affirmed since 2015, under Article 515-14, that “animals are living beings endowed with sensitivity.” However, we can note the absence of a definition of the animal and the notion of sensitivity.
Speakers in biology, ethology, philosophy and semiotics will have the opportunity to share their knowledge on the notion of animal sensitivity. Which animals and which sensibility(s) are we talking about? Is sensitivity the same for all animals? Wouldn’t the use of other notions be better suited to identify the sensitivity of certain animals?