Law, Environment and Energy Workshop
Prof. Issachar Rosen-Zvi, Dr. David Schorr
The Workshop meets, Wedensdays 16:00-18:00, in room 303
The clinic for Environmental Justice was established in the school year of 2001-2002. Since the school year of 2017-2018 the clinic also acts for the protection of animal rights and their welfare. In its work the clinic strives to give voice to the unheard, be it a community whose voice is silenced or excluded, or animals who cannot speak for themselves and are entitled to dignity, compassion and a life free from suffering.
For the promotion of this perception, the clinic engages in various legal tools and fields. For example, the clinic acts to eliminate environmental-health hazards through filing administrative petitions and civil law suits (such as a tort based class action); to promote sustainable planning and spatial justice by providing legal aid to residents of south Tel Aviv; to promote sustainable public transportation by assisting members of the public with filing small claims suits against public transportaion companies which acted illegally; to launch proceedings for expansion of the protection of animals, for prevention of their abuse and for policy change towards establishing their legal-ethical status.
The students taking part in the clinic are involved in all range of activities associated with handling a case: from participating in preparation meetings, through writing legal pleadings, to possible representation in relevant instances (such as the Small Claims Court and the Land Registry and Settlement of Rights Department); carrying out legal research and analyzing it in opinion and position papers; writing bills and following their parliamentary process in the Knesset; and so forth.
Besides the practical work, and as an inseparable part of the clinical education, the students take part in a theoretical class which addresses basic theoretical concepts such as “environmental thinking”, “environmental justice”, the environmental regulation in Israel, “animal rights and welfare”, “speciesism”, and “factory farms”. Later on, the course focuses on theoretical issues which correspond with the legal cases the students handle. For instance, the classes discuss aspects of tort and environment, planning, urbanism, housing and spatial justice, "human-animal relations", animal protection law, matters of property and legal personhood, and environmental impacts of livestock farming. Throughout the year some classes are dedicated to analyzing cases which are examined by the clinic. In addition, discussions are conducted regarding professional and ethical dilemmas and the principal questions which arise in cases that the clinic handles. Furthermore, each year the clinic hosts environmental activists, Ministry of Environmental Protection specialists, representatives of environmental and animal protection organizations, public figures, industrialists, lawyers and renowned academics in the relevant legal fields.