Critiquing Carceral Logics in response to Animal Welfare Crimes in Europe

This funding model includes a 36 month fully funded PhD Studentship, in-line with the Research Council values, which comprises a tax-free stipend paid monthly (2024/5 - £19,237) per year and a Full Time Fee Scholarship for up to 3 years, subject to you making satisfactory progression within your PhD. 

All applicants will receive the same stipend irrespective of fee status.

Application Closing Date: 
23:59 on Tuesday 30th April 2024 for a start date of the 2nd September 2024.

How to Apply 

To apply, please complete the project proposal form,ensuring that you quote the project reference, and then complete the online application where you will be required to upload your proposal in place of a personal statement as a pdf document. 

You will also be required to upload two references, at least one being an academic reference, and your qualification/s of entry (Bachelor/Masters certificate/s and transcript/s). 

Project Title: Critiquing Carceral Logics in response to Animal Welfare Crimes in Europe

Project Lead: Dr Iyan Offor

Reference: CLAWC

Project Description

What does a ‘just’ and ‘effective’ response to animal welfare crimes look like? Does it necessarily involve imprisonment as punishment? This project will investigate how criminal justice systems in Europe can best respond to animal welfare crimes, in the light of increasing criticism of both carceral responses to these crimes and incarceration as punishment more generally. This research project builds on recent animal law scholarship that develops conceptual critiques and alternatives to carceral approaches to animal welfare violations, and which apply this conceptual knowledge in the North American context. Little research exists that focuses on approaches to animal welfare crimes in Europe and this project seeks to begin filling this gap by focusing on 2-4 European jurisdictions based on the researcher’s expertise. The project will seek to answer the question: to what extent do carceral logics form the foundation of legal responses to animal welfare violations in [the jurisdiction] and are alternative models available that could produce a more effective and just outcome? To answer this question, the researcher will conduct an in-depth investigation of proposed alternatives to incarceration in this context, alongside an analysis of current European approaches to animal welfare crimes. This entails producing a literature review, applying a methodology based on critical animal studies to conduct a comparative textual analysis of European legal instruments, and recommending alternative models. This project will contribute to the most advanced knowledge on approaches to animal welfare crimes in Europe, impacting upon policymakers, animal welfare NGOs, and stakeholders affected by imprisonment.

Anticipated Findings and Contribution to Knowledge 

The project findings will advance recent legal scholarship on approaches to animal welfare crimes in Europe by tackling as-yet unanswered sub-research questions:

  • What carceral models of punishment (and critiques thereof) exist both broadly and for animal welfare offences in particular?
  • What alternative models of punishment have been proposed/developed both broadly and for animal welfare offences in particular?
  • What are the current approaches to criminalisation of and punishment for animal welfare offences in the chosen European jurisdictions and how can they be assessed in the light of critique of such models and principles of punishment/incarceration more generally?
  • What would a ‘just’ and ‘effective’ model of punishment for animal welfare crimes look like and how could this be implemented in the primary jurisdiction?

The outcomes include: a thesis containing a deep academic investigation of theories and concepts of criminalisation and incarceration as applied to animal welfare crimes, a typology of animal welfare crimes in their chosen jurisdictions, a development and application of those theories to a specific legal jurisdiction in Europe, and reasoned recommendations for alternative models aimed toward producing more effective and just outcomes. 

Contribution to knowledge:

  • Typology of animal welfare offences in chosen jurisdictions, to facilitate further research to benefit animals and prisoners’ wellbeing
  • New critique of European animal welfare crimes to motivate legal reform
  • New framework and recommendations regarding animal welfare violation punishments for implementation in European jurisdictions