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Job Opportunity: Staff Lawyer at Animal Justice

Animal Justice January 21, 2019

Animal Justice is a national animal law advocacy organization, leading the legal fight for animals in Canada. Our lawyers work to pass strong new animal protection legislation at all levels of government, ensure laws already on the books are vigorously enforced, and fight for animals in courtrooms across the country.

We seek an enthusiastic lawyer to join our team. The ideal candidate will be passionate about enhancing legal protections for animals, and will be responsible for assisting in the creation and implementation of Animal Justice’s legal campaigns and strategies related to all areas of animal use. The staff lawyer will be comfortable advocating for animals inside courtrooms and legislatures, as well in the court of public opinion.

Animal Justice is a small organization but is expanding quickly, and we are looking for someone who can grow with us.

Position type: Six-month full-time contract position with the possibility of becoming a full-time, permanent position

Reports to: Executive Director

Location: Toronto strongly preferred, other locations may be possible

Salary: Depends on relevant experience

Position responsibilities: 

  • Liaise with other Animal Justice staff, external counsel, and experts to develop legal campaigns and strategies, including litigation and legislative campaigns
  • Research and develop legal theories and strategies for litigation
  • Work closely with the executive director, external counsel, and others to draft, edit, and file lawsuits and interventions in court cases on behalf of Animal Justice
  • Work with the executive director and the board to develop and implement a comprehensive and integrated legislative and political strategy
  • Review and analyze legislation
  • Meet with legislators, government officials, and other policymakers to advance animal protection legislation and policies
  • Write reports, briefing memos, and other legal analyses on animal law topics
  • Research, prepare, and file law enforcement complaints with relevant authorities, including assisting members of the public in filing complaints
  • Prepare, file, and oversee freedom of information requests
  • Prepare and deliver presentations at law schools, conferences, community events, and Animal Justice events
  • Assist with the oversight and management of Animal Justice student clubs at Canadian law schools
  • Supervise volunteers, including lawyers and law students
  • Consult with communication staff in the creation of written content for Animal Justice’s website, social media platforms, and email communications to supporters
  • Assist other team members with special projects as required, including fundraisers, community events, and conferences
  • Maintain strong relationships with Animal Justice supporters and colleagues at other organizations
  • Travel as required to attend meetings, conferences, and other events
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor

Position requirements:

  • A law degree, and called to the bar in a Canadian province or territory
  • Minimum two years experience practicing law
  • Thorough knowledge of animal rights issues, Animal Justice campaigns, social change strategies, and legal approaches to animal advocacy
  • An understanding of Canadian politics
  • Excellent written and oral advocacy and communication skills
  • Strong organizational and project management skills, self-motivation, and the ability to multitask, work independently, and meet quick deadlines
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively with colleagues and supporters
  • Ability to communicate in French is an asset
  • Proficiency with computer software, including Microsoft Office, Google products, and Dropbox
  • Personal commitment to Animal Justice’s philosophy and mission
  • Ability to travel regularly

Hiring process: 

Animal Justice offers a friendly and positive work environment, and is an equal opportunity employer.

Applications should include a resume and cover letter in PDF format explaining why the position interests you and how your experience and skills make you an ideal candidate, as well as a legal writing sample. Applicants in their first five years of legal practice should include law school transcripts.

Email your application to info@animaljustice.ca by February 8, 2019 with “Job 102 – Staff Lawyer” as the subject line.

Only candidates selected for consideration will be contacted. Interviews will be conducted in Toronto during the week of February 19, 2019.

Animal Justice

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OSPCA Enforcement Powers Deemed Unconstitutional in New Court Ruling

Animal Justice January 4, 2019

After hearing arguments from Animal Justice lawyers, an Ontario court has ruled that animal law enforcement by the OSPCA—a private charity—is unconstitutional because the agency is not sufficiently accountable or transparent.

Animal Justice intervened in the case of Bogaerts v Attorney General of Ontario, a legal challenge to the OSPCA’s investigative and police powers that was heard in a courthouse in Perth, Ontario in May 2018. Animal Justice was in court to ensure the best interests of animals were front and centre.

Animal Justice has long been concerned that while the public cares deeply about animal protection, the government pushes responsibility for enforcing animal protection laws onto a private charity.

The OSPCA receives minimal funding and must fundraise to support its operations. Animal Justice pointed out that this itself could be a conflict of interest as the organization may receive donations from the very individuals it may be investigating.

The OSPCA is also not subject to reasonable transparency, accountability, or oversight like other public law enforcement agencies, such as the police. For example, police services legislation and freedom of information laws don’t apply to the OSPCA, nor is it subject to oversight by the Ombudsman.

Because of Animal Justice’s arguments on behalf of animals, the court recognized a new principle of fundamental justice: That an agency with police or investigative powers must be transparent and accountable, or it will not comply with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Ontario government now has an incredible opportunity to review animal law enforcement, and ensure in the best possible way that it will benefit and protect animals from cruelty. Animal protection laws are currently the only laws still enforced by a private agency, and we are hopeful the decision will acknowledge government responsibility to lead the way and adequately fund animal protection.

The court has given the province 12 months to introduce a new system. It is not yet clear whether the province will appeal the decision.

Thank you for standing by our side to ensure our lawyers can represent animals in court when they cannot speak for themselves. We’ll keep you updated on how the government moves forward after this legal outcome, and let you know how the province’s future decisions in this matter will affect animals.

 

 

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Yes, I want to stay in touch! 

Animal Justice

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Animal Justice Urges Government to Fund Animal Testing Alternatives & Plant-Based Food

Animal Justice August 9, 2018

Animal Justice is urging the federal government to fund innovative industries that save the lives of animals by creating humane, animal-free products. Specifically, Animal Justice is asking the government to invest in developing alternatives to animal testing, and invest in growing Canada’s burgeoning plant-based food sector.

The federal government is currently consulting on 2019 federal budget priorities, focused on economic growth and ensuring Canada’s competitiveness. Animal Justice’s submission, filed last week, suggests opportunities that improve life for animals while supporting animal-friendly economic opportunities.

Animal Justice is seeking funding for the new Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods (CCAAM). The first of its kind in Canada, CCAAM was set up at the University of Windsor in 2017, and has a mandate to develop and promote scientific research, teaching, and toxicity testing methods that do not require the use of animals.

Canadian researchers used over 4.3 million animals in cruel experiments in 2016, an increase of over 20% from 2015. Conventional medical research relies heavily on animal models of disease, even though it is difficult to reliably translate results in animals over to human patients because of significant biological differences between humans and other animals. Scientists around the world are already at work developing animal-free methods because they are more reliable, accurate, and cost-effective. Not only do these animal-free alternatives spare millions of animals from death and suffering, they also represent a significant economic opportunity for Canada as the field grows.

Animal Justice is also asking the government to invest in the plant-based food industry, which is growing at an astonishing rate. People are incorporating more plant-based food products in their diets to protect animals, human health, and the environment. A preliminary draft of Canada’s new Food Guide, released in 2017, also suggests a shift toward recommending that Canadians eat more plant-based foods.

The global meat alternatives market is valued at $4.33 billion and is expected to reach $6.43 billion by 2023. Meanwhile, the global plant-based milk market is set to reach $16.3 billion by the end of 2018.

The federal government has already recognized the economic potential of the plant-based sector, investing $150 million in the industry through the Innovation Superclusters Initiative in 2017.

Canada is already one of the largest producers of flaxseed, canola, oats, and durum wheat, and the third largest producer and exporter of pulses, with the highest yields in the world. With further government investment, Canada is well-positioned to become a powerhouse in the field of plant-based protein. The exponential growth of the plant-based market promises to create a more profitable and competitive economy for Canada, as well as ensuring long-term sustainability in the changing economic landscape.

Have your say! Contact your Member of Parliament to urge them to include animal-friendly initiatives in the 2019 federal budget.

 

Join the Animal Justice mailing list

Yes, I want to stay in touch! 

Animal Justice

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  • Job Opportunity: Staff Lawyer at Animal Justice

    by on January 21, 2019 - 0 Comments

    Animal Justice is a national animal law advocacy organization, leading the legal fight for animals in Canada. Our lawyers work to pass strong new animal protection legislation at all levels of government, ensure laws already on the books are vigorously enforced, and fight for animals in courtrooms across the country. We seek an enthusiastic lawyer... Read more » Animal Justice

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