The Need for CAALL

The Comparative ASEAN Animal Law Library (‘CAALL’) collates legal resources from the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). ASEAN is host to a complex set of domestic and regional legal systems that offer unique challenges to developing a comprehensive understanding of animal law at the sub-national, national, regional and international levels. Comprised of less economically developed countries (‘LEDCs’) and newly industrialised countries (‘NICs’), the ASEAN region boasts unique climates, ecologies, habitats, religions, levels of development and cultures that give rise to a vast array of specialised and species-specific animal law.

In recent years, animal law research in the region has been developing steadily. There has been an increase in the number of legal conferences dedicated to animal law in the ASEAN region, expanding and encouraging animal law scholarship in the region. However, a paucity of readily available legal sources means that researchers, academics and the general public often lack the educational tools needed to tackle complex and interconnected issues relating to animals and the law. CAALL is founded on the idea that easy access to a large range of reliable and relevant resources is fundamental to promoting a comprehensive understanding of animal law.

Categories of Animal Law 

‘Animal law’ is the field of law that seeks to govern the interactions between humans and animals. It covers a diverse array of domestic and international legal issues, arising in statutory, judicial, executive, regulatory and theoretical contexts. CAALL recognises that animal law is not a discrete area of law. For this reason, CAALL organises animal law resource according to a network of classifications according to jurisdiction, type, paradigm, and topic. Together, these categories build a coherent network of animal law resources which assists in the analysis and comparison of animal law systems in the ASEAN region.


The jurisdiction of a resource is the source country within ASEAN, ASEAN as a regional bloc, or International law. Secondary sources are organised according to subject matter.


The type of resource is the classification of the resource according to status or use – for primary sources, this will be its position in the legal system of the jurisdiction; for secondary sources, this will be its function as a report or academic article on the subject matter, or a toolkit for analysis or achieving particular outcomes.

CAALL’s type classifications are porous, and do not in every case reflect the unique operation of a jurisdiction’s legal system. In particular, the boundaries between ‘Statute’ and ‘Executive Order’ are in many cases porous. Nevertheless CAALL’s type classifications assist in the identification of animal law resources according to a broadly applicable framework that changes as our research develops.

Primary source types are:

  • Legislation – Any legislative instrument, including rules, regulations and amending instruments unless made by executive order, and basic laws and constitutions. This may include guidance and protocols where produced legislatively.
  • Executive Orders – Any decree, directive, order, statement, decision, government manual or strategy document, or other executive instrument. This may include guidance and protocols where produced executively, e.g. by a government department.
  • Treaties – International and regional treaties, and covers bilateral or multilateral instruments between CAALL jurisdictions and multilateral instruments to which CAALL jurisdictions are parties.
  • Jurisprudence – Any decision by a judicial body or tribunal, including advisory opinions.

Secondary source types are:

  • Academic Literature – Scholarship produced by academic actors or bodies, published in academic journals, books or online.
  • Reports and Toolkits – Material produced by NGOs or other actors providing analysis or assisting in practical decision making.
  • Other – Press releases, news articles and other commentary.


CAALL identifies five paradigms by which animal law resources may be classified: Trade, Biodiversity, Crime, Development and Security.

The paradigm model assists in identifying holistic legal systems across type according to primary drivers or subject-matters of animal law resources. The paradigm model also assists in characterising animal law resources individually and within their broader context, and can inform the priority given to the primary drivers or subject-matters in each jurisdiction. In this way animal law resources and systems in the ASEAN region can be more effectively analysed and compared.


The ‘trade’ paradigm illustrates the animal protection regime in place in order for global economies function properly. Notably, most law in this paradigm does not seek to prohibit the trade of wildlife or wildlife products, but instead seeks to ensure that trade is conducted sustainably.


The ‘biodiversity’ paradigm takes the perspective that animals ought to be protected for their ‘intrinsic value as a species’ (see the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity). This paradigm treats the potential loss of the variety of life as its primary motivator. It regulates from a position that animals are not solely for human benefit.


The ‘crime’ paradigm reflects animal protection by criminalisation. By understanding poaching, harm or illicit trade as ‘criminal’, it allows both the promotion of other frames by enforcement, and comparison to other fields where a criminalisation frame is dominant.


The ‘development’ paradigm considers animals with regard to human expansion and societal growth. Regulatory approaches that fit within this frame consider elephant extinction as directly linked to say, resource and land demands. This also relates to cultural legal practices.


The ‘security’ paradigm links the exploitation of animals to armed conflict and border and biosecurity. Common examples include the sale of animal products by armed non-state groups to fund military efforts, or agricultural regulations to avoid disease, the prevention of which might increase a country’s security.


In addition to the jurisdiction, type and paradigm of animal law resources, CAALL has sought to categorise each animal law material by topic. Topics represent a specific subject-matter or function of a resource, and assist in analysis and comparison at a more granular level.

The topic list that CAALL uses will be updated as new resources and topics are identified.


Please note that CAALL is not a legal authority, and any law collated by CAALL may be out of date or an unofficial version. While we try and review our content to be as current as possible, we cannot guarantee the currency and/or accuracy of material hosted by CAALL. Further, the material hosted on CAALL may not be the exhaustive statement of relevant law in that jurisdiction, and represents only the contents of the particular source.

Please also note that CAALL is not the author of materials hosted  on the website.

Method | The Comparative ASEAN Animal Law Library | CAALL