WAJ Expert Group – International Lawyers for Animals

The WAJ Expert Group is gathering outstanding international/criminal/animal rights lawyers from the world’s 5 continents.
We work together to have crimes against animals globally recognized and forbidden in national, regional and international law.

Dr Sabine Brels WAJ Initiator

Sabine BRELS

PhD, International Animal Lawyer, WAJ Expert, Founding President & Steering Commitee member

  Origin   Studies
Dr Sabine Brels is an international and comparative animal lawyer, author, lecturer and consultant, dedicated to advancing animal protection law worldwide (both in theory and in practice). In her PhD work in Canada, she addressed the evolution and globalization of animal law. In the last 15 years, she co-founded and codirected the Global Animal Law projects, and worked as legal advisor for various NGOs: the World Federation for Animals, the Eurogroup for Animals, and Compassion in World Farming. Since 2023, she is leading the World Animal Justice (WAJ) NGO that she founded. Dr Brels is WAJ expert to address animal protection gaps and solutions in international law, as to protect animal rights and ban animal crimes.

Deborah CAO

Professor Animal Law & Ethics,
WAJ Expert, Honorary member

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Deborah Cao (LLB, PhD) is a Professor at Griffith University, Australia. She writes about animal law and ethics and animal crimes and protection in China and Australia. Her books on animals include Animals are not Things: Animal Law in the West (2007 in Chinese), Animal Law in Australia and New Zealand (2010), While the Dog Gently Weeps (2012, in Chinese), Animal Law in Australia 2nd edition (2015), Animals in China: Law and Society (2015), Have You Ever Thought About the Pig’s Feelings: Farm Animal Welfare Law and Regulation in China and Beyond (2022, in Chinese), and Animal Law in Australia 3rd edition (2023). Pr Coa is the first academic who was asserting the need for an international answer to crimes against animals. She is our WAJ Honorary Expert.

Meganne NATALI

PhD, International Wildlife Lawyer, WAJ Expert & Steering Commitee member

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Dr. Meganne Natali is a lawyer, legal consultant, lecturer, and Visiting Fellow at the University of Portsmouth School of Law (UK). Expert in international environmental law, she is commited to combat wildlife crimes. During her collaboration with the Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime, she engaged in pivotal initiatives such as for the European Convention on Environmental Protection through Criminal Law and advocating for enhanced legal frameworks at international forums like the CITES Standing Committee meetings. As a consultant for Legal Atlas, she provided innovative solutions within the complex realm of zoonotic diseases and their nexus with wildlife trade. She is our key WAJ expert to combat Wildlife Crimes Worldwide.

Altamush SAEED

JD & LLM, International Animal Rights Lawyer, WAJ Expert

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Deputy Director of the World Moot on International Law and Animal Rights and President of the Charity Doings Foundation Pakistan/USA. He is the WAJ expert to address the ‘international right to animal rescue in disasters’.


Human-Animal Rights and Global Animal Law Researcher, International Criminal and Humanitarian Lawyer, International and Comparative Animal Labour Law Expert – WAJ Expert and Steering Committee member

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Marine is a PhD candidate in Global Animal Law and a researcher at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, where she taught Animal Law. She is the WAJ expert on the cruel treatment of and crimes against working and sports animals and international crimes against animals. She recently established the International Institute of Animal Rights Law and Policy, a global educational and advocacy NGO dedicated to advancing animal rights.

Ankita Shanker, PhD Candidate


International Animal Rights and Criminal Lawyer, WAJ Expert

Ankita Shanker LLB (R’dg) BCL (Oxf) BPTC (BPP) is a social entrepreneur and legal researcher specialised in Public International Law, Animal Law, and Legal Philosophy and Theory. She is the Founder and Director of the World Moot on International Law and Animal Rights (WMILAR), and the WAJ Expert on International Criminal Law and Animal Law.

Lisa NOONAN, PhD Candidate


PhD Candidate, Animal Testing & Experiments Lawyer, WAJ Expert

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PhD candidate at the University of Zurich working on the Implementation of the 3Rs in Animals Research. She is the WAJ expert to address the protection of animals used for testing and experiments.

Mo Esan-Portrait


LLM, Global animal lawyer, WAJ Expert

Nigerian and US animal lawyer and litigator, Mo is the founder of the Green Thumb initiative and holder of 2 LLMs. Dedicated to advancing the law for animals globally, she is a key WAJ expert.

Cecilia Darnault-Portrait


PhD, French animal lawyer, WAJ Expert

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Holder of a doctorate in law and the French Bar Degree, Cecilia is a researcher and legal consultant in French and international law engaged in animal NGOs for the defense of animal welfare and animal rights.

Dr Yoriko OTOMO

PhD, International Law Academic, WAJ Expert

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Dr Yoriko Otomo is an experienced university based academic researcher and public scholar. She works at the University for the Creative Arts, and is an Associate at SOAS Law School, University of London. With a strong track record of interdisciplinary research in critical theory, animal studies, environmental law and history, she has a portfolio career including Directorship of the Global Research Network CIC, a non-profit dedicated to supporting doctoral students.


M.Phil, International Animal Welfare & Rights Lawyer,
WAJ Expert

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Dulki Seethawaka is Senior Executive Researcher at the Centre for Environmental Law and Policy of the University of Colombo. In 2024, she has been appointed Regional Co-Director - Southern Asia at World Moot on International Law and Animal Rights (WMILAR). With her M.Phil. in animal welfare laws, Dulki is a WAJ Expert on international animal welfare and rights laws. She acts as WAJ special collaborator with Asia for Animals (AfA) in this region.


Animal & Environmental Law Researcher, MM, PGDL Law, WAJ Expert Group Member

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Maya Pardo is a trustee of The Animal Advocacy Project, a legal researcher at The Vegan Society; and co-author of a toolkit for protecting rivers in England and Wales with the KCL Environmental Legal Clinic. Her fields of interest are Veganism, Rights of Nature, and Environmental Justice.

Dulki Testimony Pic & Quote

Caroline DEFOIS

Animal Lawyer & International Attorney, WAJ Expert & Steering Committee member

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Caroline Defois is a qualified international attorney and animal lawyer, currently working in a french international law firm with a particular interest in climate change issues. Caroline is the one to address domestic and international proceedings regarding animal law, in the frame of WAJ work. She is a key international attorney knowing law practice at WAJ Steering Committee.

Charlotte ARNAL-Portrait New

Charlotte ARNAL

French Animal Rights Advocate, WAJ Steering Committee member

Co-founder of 'Symbiocène' Agency for an animal-friendly economy and 'PatteBlanche' Agency (BCORP certified and distinguished Best For The World Companies), Charlotte is an expert in responsible communication and ethics. Her NGO “Humanisma” works to include animals in the French Constitution and the recognition of their legal personhood. Highly committed to animal rights, Charlotte is an essential member of WAJ Steering Committee.

Selina Hinten-White-Portrait


Barrister, Legal Counsel, Independent Researcher, WAJ Expert Group member

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Selina is an Irish lawyer, now working in the Netherlands with a global plant-based food NGO active in animal advocacy. She is a lecturer, researcher, and project coordinator with legal expertise in animal rights and welfare, especially in criminal cases. She aims to enhance animal protection within the criminal justice system and promote positive incentives for animal safety. She is a key WAJ expert joining animal law theory and practice as a researcher, Barrister and NGO advocacy work.



MLaw, LLM, International Animal Welfare and Rights Lawyer, WAJ Expert

Iga Glazewska is an animal lawyer, animal rights advocate, strong supporter of an interdisciplinary approach to animal protection. She is the Director for Poland at Humane Society International/Europe, where she is responsible for a wide range of programmes, including efforts to effectively implement anti-cruelty legislation, improve the welfare of farmed animals, promote human-wildlife coexistence, stop trophy hunting and fur farming. She serves as the Regional Co-Director for Eastern Europe, Central and Western Asia, and Northern Africa at the World Moot on International Law and Animal Rights (WMILAR). She is a member of The Union Internationale des Avocats.

Lu Shegay-Portrait


LLM, Animal Law, WAJ Expert & APALO project coordinator

Lu Shegay is Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Institute of Animal Law of Asia (IALA) and Animal advocate from Kazakhstan. Lu Shegay is working on the issues of animal law and policy in Asian countries, comparative analysis, and the intersection of public international law and animal law. She is managing the Alliance for Animal Law of Asia that WAJ is proudly part of. Lu Shegay is a key animal law expert in Asia and WAJ reference for central-Asian countries in the frame of the "Asia-Pacific Animal Law Overview" (APALO) project, that the IALA and the Asia for Animals (AfA) Coalition are working on together with WAJ.

Nancy Makuvise-WAJ Expert picture


Lecturer and Researcher at Great Zimbabwe University, WAJ Expert

Nancy Makuvise is a Zimbabwean lawyer, with a prosecutorial background but now focused on animal advocacy. She is a lecturer, researcher at Great Zimbabwe University, as well as an independent consultant with legal expertise in wildlife crimes, animal law and welfare and the One Health Concept. Nancy has developed curriculum on wildlife law for University Students, trained rangers and scouts, investigators, prosecutors and magistrates on wildlife laws in Zimbabwe, educated communities on animal welfare and co-authored a children’s book on animal welfare.

Jessica Tselepy-WAJ Portrait


PhD Candidate, International Animal Lawyer, Australian animal law, international trade law, moral & political philosophy, WAJ Expert

Jessica's primary professional interest lies in reconceptualising and reforming the treatment of non-human animals in both national legislation and international instruments. Her PhD thesis at the University of Melbourne in Australia examines how international trade of farmed non-human animals may be legitimately restricted within the WTO regime and the implications of this strategy to de-commodify non-human animals on a global scale.

Marcia Condoy Truyenque


LLM, Doctoral Researcher, Director of Derecho Animal en Perú, WAJ Expert

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Marcia is a Peruvian lawyer, currently a Doctoral Researcher at the University of Helsinki on the topic "Animal Legal Agency". Previously, Marcia obtained a master's degree in Animal Law from Lewis & Clark Law School (graduated with Honors). She is the Director of 'Derecho Animal en Perú', our WAJ partner.

Seher Özkan-Portrait


LLM in animal law, criminal animal lawyer, WAJ Expert

Seher Özkan, LLM, is a Turkish researcher and lawyer dedicated to advancing the protection of animals within the criminal justice system. Dedicated to protecting all living things that can not protect themselves, she wrote her thesis on Animal Protection through Criminal Law. In her thesis, she examined the crimes and penalties regulated in the new Animal Protection Law in Turkey. She is WAJ expert in animal criminal law and serves as an animal advocate for animal NGOs. Seher contributes for Tukey animal laws in the APALO project.

Maëlys Legal-Portrait

Maëly LE GAL

LL.B, European and International Law, WAJ Expert Member & Comms Intern

Maëlys is LL.B in European and International Law and President of the association Sourire d'Enfant du Congo, dedicated to aiding orphans in Kinshasa. She is driven by a clear objective: to combat inequalities around the world, both on a human and animal sides. Passionate about the animal world since her childhood, Maëlys has always sought to engage in projects that align with her deep values. Her commitment to World Animal Justice allows her to merge her field with her vocation for the defense of animal rights, working towards a more just and equitable society. Maëlys is appointed as WAJ intern in order to develop WAJ media Communications.

WAJ Comms Interns & IT Specialists

Flavia Groza-Portrait

Flavia GROZA

WAJ Specialist in Design, Comms & Social Media

Flavia is a Cross-Cultural Communication expert, who graduates in Milan (Italia). She specialized in Cultural Design, Social Media and Project Development. Currently, based in Italia, she is actively engaged in community-driven initiatives and helping local associations’ development. Her focus is on fostering meaningful connections and positive change. Flavia is WAJ Comms specialist helping with comms, visuals & videos.

Portrait Sebastien Bernis-New

Sebastien BERNIS

IT specialist and WAJ webmaster

Sebastien is a French specialist in webmarketing with 15 years experience in this field. He substancially contributes to the WAJ website and media content. In the past, Sebastien was the CEO of a Benchmarking Saas and was the President of an NGO for the conservation of coral reefs. Currently, he is an independant and consultant for corporations and organizations in marketing and strategic planning.

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