The Barristers Animal Welfare Panel (BAWP) comprises well in excess of 100 barristers (including some 25 silks) from all the State Bars of Australia:
- to promote, and foster advocacy for, the welfare of animals generally, whether in Australia or elsewhere;
- to enable litigants in matters of public interest or prosecutions affecting animal welfare to be represented and advised on a pro bono or reduced fee basis, instructed where necessary under the auspices of PILCH or direct by different law firms;
- to challenge publicly or otherwise deficiencies in the animal legal regime in Australia or elsewhere, and for this purpose, to formulate and prosecute proposals for law reform;
- to advise or appear in the defence of protestors acting to promote animal welfare;
- to promote the adoption by law schools of ‘Animal Law’ as a subject and continuing legal education programs for members of the legal profession and others;
- to encourage the participation by other legal professionals, law students or persons with non-legal skills in our programs and cases, especially by membership of the Panel’s Secretariat;
- to establish and maintain an informal adjunct panel of law firms to act as instructing solicitors and otherwise assist in promoting the objects of the Panel; and
- to liaise and collaborate with other organisations or individuals with like or compatible objects or with which (irrespective of their objects) such liaison or collaboration may stand to benefit animal welfare, including international organisations.
BAWP is a national unitary body shortly to be constituted as a company limited by guarantee. It was formed initially in November 2006 at a general meeting of the Victorian bar. As a Victorian Bar Association it comprised some 90 members of counsel. It is no longer a Victorian Bar Association with its establishment in June 2010 as a national unitary body.
The Panel arranges for legal advice and representation by its member counsel only. It does not as a body give legal advice or representation; nor does the Secretariat.