Animal Rights Law Pioneer Named Rutgers Board of Governors Professor

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Since introducing the subject of animal rights into the law school classroom more than 25 years ago, Rutgers School of Law–Newark Professor Gary L. Francione has gained an international reputation for his pathbreaking contributions to legal scholarship, particularly his work on the moral and legal status of animals. Rutgers University has recognized Francione’s preeminence in the field of animal rights law and animal ethics by naming him a Board of Governors Professor, one of the university’s highest honors.

“Gary Francione has been a pioneer in his advocacy of a critical reconsideration of the status of animals in our civilization and his passionate condemnation of violence in all of its forms,” said John J. Farmer, Jr., Dean and Professor of Law. “His work is a vital reminder that the way we treat the most vulnerable is a measure of the quality of our civilization.”

The resolution naming Francione Board of Governors Professor of Law cites, in addition to groundbreaking legal scholarship, his numerous publications, including five highly-regarded books, several of which are considered foundational texts in the field, and his many editorials and media appearances that demonstrate dedication to his role as public intellectual.

In recent weeks Francione has been interviewed for the Institute of Philosophy-supported podcast series Philosophy Bites, presented “Jainism and Vivisection: The Problems of Moral Relativism, the Defense of Self/Others, and Consequential Analysis” at the Claremont International Jain Conference, and discussed “Animals as Property: The Challenge of Animal Law” at DePaul University College of Law. He maintains a website, Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach, and regularly writes for

Professor Francione, who now carries the title Board of Governors Professor of Law and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law and Philosophy, received a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Rochester and an M.A. in philosophy and J.D. from the University of Virginia. He practiced law in New York City before joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1984, where he was tenured in 1987. He joined the Rutgers faculty in 1989. He and his colleague Adjunct Professor Anna Charlton started and operated the Rutgers Animal Rights Law Clinic from 1990-2000, making Rutgers the first university in the U.S. to have animal rights law as part of the regular academic curriculum.

Professor Francione teaches (with Adjunct Professor Charlton) a course on human rights and animal rights, and a seminar on animal rights theory and the law. He also teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, torts, and evidence.

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