August 24, 2022

Zimbabwe Launches First Wildlife Law Course

CALS Ambassador Ever Chinoda, LLM ’17, created and taught Zimbabwe’s first Wildlife Law course. Law students, public officials, police officers, and prosecutors attended Ms. Chonda’s semester-long course and left with the knowledge they need to succeed in their important roles in wildlife protection.

Ever Chinoda, LLM Alum (’17, Zimbabwe) and CALS Global Ambassador (2021-2022) recently created and taught Zimbabwe’s first Wildlife Law course. The course is offered at the Herbert Chitepo Law School in the Great Zimbabwe University and just completed its third semester. Ever’s work creating and teaching the course is part of her project as a CALS Global Ambassador. Through our Global Ambassador Program, CALS further empowers and supports our talented alumni as they advance animal law education and advocacy around the world. Ever has taken that mission to heart, expanding animal law education and advocacy in Zimbabwe and strengthening wildlife protections.

The students in the Wildlife Law course comprise not only law students but also public officials, police officers, and prosecutors, given their important role in wildlife protection. Students study: combating illegal wildlife crime, the State of Wildlife Laws in Zimbabwe, the role of prosecutors in dealing with wildlife crime, and human and wildlife conflict. Among other assignments, the most recent semester saw students participate in an in-class debate about Zimbabwe’s ivory and rhino horn stockpiles. This debate allowed the students to engage in the contemporary issues that the nation is facing and to delve into the international frameworks that govern the trade of specially protected species, as well as develop their oral advocacy skills. The Wildlife Law course will be offered again at the Great Zimbabwe University this fall.

“It was a long but exciting semester, and we are positive that the prosecutors and the police officers that were part of the class are equipped with knowledge [they need] and are ready to make the world a better place for wildlife at their respective work stations,” says Ever, reflecting on the most recent semester. As a CALS Global Ambassador, Ever says, “We are truly grateful for the continuous support from the Center for Animal Law Studies, especially beyond graduation in 2016.” 

Following students’ recent successes with the course’s debate assignment, Herbert Chitepo Law School intends to create and host a Wildlife Conservation Moot Court Competition within the next year. The success of the course at Great Zimbabwe University also led to Ever being invited to introduce her Wildlife Law module at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the University of Zimbabwe, faculty of law. Building on the course’s success, Ever will soon be launching a Wildlife Law and Policy post-graduate diploma at the second University. 

Ever has been welcomed as a part-time Lecturer at the Great Zimbabwe University, Herbert Chitepo Law School. She will also soon be launching the Zimbabwe Wildlife Law Case Book, a resource that will be used by students, prosecutors, and magistrates. In addition to her work pioneering the Wildlife Law course, Ever is the founder and co-director of Speak Out For Animals (SOFA), a nonprofit that she founded while studying in our Animal Law LLM Program. SOFA seeks to protect animals through the legal system and is doing groundbreaking work to advance protections for animals in Zimbabwe and beyond. Through SOFA, Ever has facilitated the animal law training of many lawyers and public officials in Zimbabwe. In 2021, Ever was included on the Top 100 List of Young African Conservation Leaders.

The Center for Animal Law Studies

The Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) was founded in 2008 with a mission to educate the next generation of animal law advocates and advance animal protection through the law. With vision and bold risk-taking, CALS has since developed into a world-renowned animal law epicenter, with the most comprehensive animal law curriculum offered anywhere. In addition, CALS is the only program that offers two advanced legal degrees in animal law (an LLM degree and a Master of Studies degree for non-lawyers, both degrees are offered in person and online) and multiple animal law clinics and experiential learning opportunities. CALS’ Alumni-in Action from more than 20 countries are advancing legal protections and making a difference for animals around the world.