2023 Law Rare Books Lecture - 19.09.23

Due to a technical recording error, the first 21 minutes of this video is audio only.

Event details

'The Weird and Wonderful World of Animals and the Law'
Presented by Professor Katy Barnett

The 2023 Law Rare Books Lecture

For this lecture, Professor Katy Barnett will discuss the book she co-wrote with Professor Jeremy Gans Guilty Pigs which considers the history and development of the law as it relates to animals. Does the King really own all the swans? Were medieval animals put on trial? And should animals (in captivity or otherwise) be treated like people? Since Guilty Pigs came out, the New York Court of Appeal decided that Happy the Elephant was not entitled to legal personhood, but the Panamanian government has said that people can sue on behalf of the interests of sea turtles.

Professor Katy Barnett

Professor Barnett completed an LLB with Honours and a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Melbourne in 1999. She served as a Research Assistant at the Court of Appeal at the Supreme Court of Victoria, completed her articles at Freehills, worked as an Associate to Justice Mandie at the Supreme Court of Victoria, was a banking litigator at Russell Kennedy, and currently serves as a legal consultant at Sharpe & Abel. In 2010, Katy completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne, and her thesis was published as ‘Accounting for Profit for Breach of Contract: Theory and Practice’ by Hart Publishing. In 2016, she received the University of Melbourne’s Barbara Falk Award for excellence in teaching.  Katy teaches subjects covering Property, Trusts, Equity, Torts, Contracts, and Remedies in the JD and Melbourne Law Masters program.

In addition to publishing on Remedies Law and other related aspects of private law, Katy’s research interests include Comparative Law, Behavioral Economics, Animal Law, and Legal History.  With Professor Jeremy Gans, Katy co-authored ‘Guilty Pigs: The Weird and Wonderful History of Animal Law’, published by Black Inc. in 2022.  Katy has also written a Young Adult fiction novel, ‘The Earth Below’, which was Highly Commended in the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Unpublished Manuscript Award, and was published in 2019.

The Law Rare Books Lecture

The Melbourne Law School Rare Books and Legal History Lecture Series was launched in 2002 to promote and encourage research into the Rare Book Collection. The lecture series is hosted by the Law Library at Melbourne Law School and aims to use the collection as a starting point for more general discussions of subjects such as Legal, business and economic history. Early history and development of the Law School. Publishing and bookselling in Australia.