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Kristen Stilt

  • Halal doubts cast on new sheep-shipping methods (subscription required)

    May 21, 2018

    A US expert in Islamic law says agricultural ministers and clerics in Kuwait and Qatar would be unlikely to view summer transport of sheep as halal-approved if they were shown the crowded conditions and animals forced to stand for weeks in their own excrement. Agriculture Minister David Littleproud flew to the Middle East yesterday to reassure ministers and importers in both countries that Australia’s live sheep trade would continue during the northern hemisphere summer, but under new conditions recommended by the veterinarian-led McCarthy review he initiated...But Harvard University professor Kristen Stilt, an expert and author of Animal Welfare in ­Islamic law, who has studied the Australian livestock trade, warns that the end of live exports could be hastened by a failure to meet Islamic food requirements and animal welfare laws signed by the Gulf Co-operation Council. She says even adopting a 28 per cent increase in pen space recommended by the McCarthy review is unlikely to satisfy strict Islamic law about “everything surrounding the consumption of meat by Muslims”. “It is clear to me that the footage we saw from the ships — the overcrowding, the inability of animals to lie down and rest, and the heat stress — does not comply with the requirements of Islamic law,” she said. Sheep standing or lying in their own excrement for weeks are at risk of contracting diseases and producing meat that is not halal, she says. “The same is true for animals confined in pens where other animals are becoming sick and dying. “This is not something that is considered discretionary, but rather a crucial part of living by the requirements of Islam.”

  • Live sheep exports may breach Islamic law, US expert says

    May 21, 2018

    Animals Australia has urged Agriculture Minister David Littleproud to show shocking footage of cruelty on live export ships to his Middle Eastern counterparts. The minister is visiting Kuwait and Qatar to reassure those countries Australia will continue the trade of live sheep after a crackdown on dodgy exporters. In a letter to Mr Littleproud seen by AAP, Animals Australia chief executive Glenys Oogjes asks him to show the vision of sheep dying in their own filth on an August 2016 voyage to the Middle East. Almost 2500 animals died on that voyage...It comes after a US expert in Islamic law raised concerns about Middle Eastern countries supporting the trade if they were shown the conditions during the northern hemisphere summer. Harvard University professor Kristen Stilt said the overcrowding and heat stress present in the footage did not comply with Islamic law. "The sheep standing or lying in their own excrement for three weeks are also at risk for contracting diseases and producing meat that is not halal," she said.

  • Fourth annual Animal Law Week held at HLS

    Fourth annual Animal Law Week held at HLS

    March 12, 2018

    Animal law advocates from a variety of disciplines and perspectives came together at Harvard Law School  for the fourth annual Animal Law Week, an event co-hosted by the Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program and Harvard Law School's Student Animal Legal Defense Fund . 

  • inside of NW Corner Building at Harvard Law School

    Jonathan Lovvorn appointed policy director of the HLS Animal Law and Policy Program

    September 15, 2017

    On Sept. 5, Harvard Law School Lecturer Jonathan Lovvorn was named the first policy director for the school's Animal Law & Policy Program. Lovvorn, who previously taught Wildlife Law in both the Fall 2015 and Fall 2016 terms, will continue as a lecturer, teaching a new course this fall on Farmed Animal Law & Policy.

  • Two women sitting at a table reading a paper

    Connecting beyond the classroom

    April 21, 2017

    More than 60 Harvard Law students and 27 HLS faculty members took over the typically quiet tables of the library reading room for the first “Notes and Comment” event.

  • Animal Law Week poster

    Animal Law Week links animal rights, environmentalism and activism

    March 22, 2017

    The intersection of climate change, animal testing, and corporate strategic partnerships were among the issues explored during the third annual Animal Law Week, a series of events hosted at Harvard Law School from Feb. 27-March 3 by HLS’s Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) and the Harvard Animal Law and Policy Program.

  • Putting his money where his mouth is

    November 3, 2016

    ...“The Massachusetts ballot measure is poised to be the single most progressive piece of farmed animal protection legislation ever passed in the United States,” said Christopher Green, executive director of Harvard Law School’s Animal Law & Policy Program. “Having this happen in our backyard as our program gets off the ground has allowed us to analyze the process in the classroom and given our students the opportunity to gain invaluable experience working directly on the campaign.” Thomas has found a welcome partner in the HLS program. With his recent gift of $1 million and a subsequent matching gift of $500,000 to support individual donations of up to $50,000 through December, he is hoping to make farm animals central to animal cruelty prevention. It’s a shared concern...The program’s work reaches well beyond U.S. borders. Its faculty director, Kristen Stilt, is collaborating with Harvard’s South Asia Institute to examine animal agriculture from the Middle East to Asia.

  • Close up of chickens in cages

    Animal-welfare advocate finds partner in growing Law School program

    November 2, 2016

    With his recent gift of $1 million and a subsequent matching gift of $500,000 to support individual donations of up to $50,000 through December, Charles Thomas is hoping to make farm animals central to animal cruelty prevention.

  • Law School Faculty Defend Minow, Criticize Activists

    March 22, 2016

    A week after Harvard Law School’s seal change became final, a group of faculty members are publicly speaking out in support of Law School Dean Martha L. Minow, charging that student activists at the school have not given her due credit for her efforts to address racial issues on campus. Seven Law School faculty members—Glenn Cohen, Randall L. Kennedy, Richard J. Lazarus, Todd D. Rakoff, Carol S. Steiker, Kristen A. Stilt, and David B. Wilkins—published an open letter in the Harvard Law Record Monday defending Minow. They wrote, “Our goal here is… to express our support and deep appreciation for Dean Minow and all that she has done during this difficult and important process, and to advance the cause of justice throughout her long and distinguished career.”

  • Chris Green and Kristen Stilt in courtroom with a white retriever dog

    Focusing on law and the treatment of animals

    March 10, 2016

    Harvard Magazine recently featured a story on the evolution of animal law in the United States, highlighting the new HLS Animal Law & Policy Program and faculty director Kristen Stilt. In February, to commemorate Animal Law Week, Harvard Law School hosted a series of animal law lunchtime talks, with topics ranging from Islamic law, direct democracy, and environmental law.

  • Are Animals “Things”?

    February 20, 2016

    ...“Animal welfare and animal rights are two different goals within the field of animal law,” explains law professor Kristen Stilt, who teaches the animal-law survey class—an annual course typically oversubscribed on the first day of registration... A gift from Bradley L. Goldberg, founder and president of the Animal Welfare Trust, has underwritten a new Animal Law & Policy Program intended to expand the animal-law curriculum, establish an academic fellowship program, and foster future academic gatherings and scholarship...That opportunity and responsibility fall largely to Stilt, the faculty director of the new program, and Chris Green, its executive director, who must decide how to design a curriculum that covers a topic intersecting with all other areas of legal study...This past May, Loeb University Professor and constitutional-law scholar Laurence Tribe submitted an amicus letter supporting NhRP’s request for an appeal in one of its first chimpanzee cases.

  • People standing talking in a grocery store

    Summit convenes future leaders in the emerging field of food law and policy

    December 11, 2015

    Participants in a recent gathering at Harvard Law School are hoping to spark the growth of a nationwide student network for making significant contributions to the emerging field of food law and policy.

  • Kristen Stilt on the intersection of animals, law, and religion

    September 8, 2015

    During a recent conversation, Professor Kristen Stilt, co-director of the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School, spoke about the connection between animal law and Islamic law, and the impact of animal law on both animals and people.

  • Sarah Chayes speaking at the front of the room with her arms out

    Why Corruption Threatens Global Security: A talk with Sarah Chayes

    March 31, 2015

    In a talk sponsored by International Legal Studies on February 11, former NPR correspondent Sarah Chayes, currently senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment, spoke to HLS students about the links, historical and current, between corruption and global security.

  • Harvard Law School’s Noah Feldman (from right) joined NPR correspondent Deborah Amos and Professor Kristen Stilt to discuss the fast-moving ideological evolution and spread of the ISIS in the Middle East.

    Analysts discuss the origins, motivations, and ambitions of surging ISIS movement (video)

    October 27, 2014

    Whether it’s called ISIS or ISIL, few people a year ago had even heard of the radical Sunni Islamist group that had splintered from al-Qaida.

  • The Islamic State of play

    October 27, 2014

    Whether it’s called ISIS or ISIL, few people a year ago had even heard of the radical Sunni Islamist group that had splintered from al-Qaida. But as the Iraq-based terrorist organization rapidly swarmed and took control of cities and towns in Iraq and Syria, it suddenly became a front-burner issue in American foreign policy...“I think that the name is instructive; it tells you what their goals are: They aim to create an Islamic state,” said Deborah Amos, an award-winning Middle East reporter for National Public Radio...Amos joined Noah Feldman, the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School (HLS), and Professor Kristen Stilt, co-director of the Islamic Legal Studies Program at HLS, for a wide-ranging discussion about ISIS before a standing-room crowd at Austin Hall Thursday afternoon.

  • Tomiko Brown-Nagin portrait at her desk

    The U.S. Supreme Court: Reviewing last year’s decisions (video)

    October 17, 2014

    In a discussion moderated by Professor John Manning, five Harvard Law School professors, Tomiko Brown-Nagin, John Coates, Richard Fallon, Charles Fried and Intisar Rabb, assessed last year’s Supreme Court decisions and shared their thoughts on those rulings.

  • Meet this year’s new HLS faculty

    September 9, 2014

    A host of new faculty members arrived at Harvard Law School this academic year, and over the summer, Dean Martha Minow announced two new faculty who will join HLS in 2015.

  • Kristen A. Stilt headshot

    Stilt to join Harvard Law faculty

    April 10, 2014

    Kristen A. Stilt, a leading expert on Islamic Law and society, will join the faculty of Harvard Law School beginning September 2014, with an appointment as Professor of Law.