Diane Ryland

Diane Ryland


Previously, I was a senior lecturer in law specialising in both teaching and research for publication in EU Constitutional Law, EU Environmental Law and EU Internal Market Law; also teaching Land Law and Environmental Law – at the University of Lincoln (1995-2019). Contributed a chapter annually to the current survey of the Yearbook on European Environmental Law, (H Somsen and T Etty (eds), Oxford University Press (1998-2006). One-time member of a team of international academics undertaking research into the approximation of Poland’s laws to European Union standards in preparation for Poland’s membership of the European Union. This inter-university, inter-disciplinary European research programme was co-ordinated by Professors J Carby-Hall and J Justynski, Jean Monnet Professors at the Centre of European Studies, Nicholas Copernicus University, Torun, Poland (1995 – 2002), the outcome of which went, annually, to the Ministry of Integration in Warsaw.

Prior to that I was a research assistant in the Law School, the University of Hull (1993-1995).

My thesis aims to propose a legal framework facilitative of raised standards of animal welfare in European Union (EU) agriculture and in the agri-food chain. The EU has been a pioneer in adopting farm animal welfare minimum standards legislation, with early initiatives commencing in the absence of a conferred animal welfare competence.  More recently animal welfare has become entrenched within the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), but doubts continue as to whether the key driver is the market or the well-being of animals. Central is the scope for the EU Common Agricultural Policy and the multifunctional role of agriculture to enhance the welfare of animals pre-farm-gate. The role and responsibilities of the EU to the EU citizen and, in particular, the credence consumer of agri-food, in the provision and promotion of animal welfare in agriculture are elemental. An animal welfare label with which to inform the interested and affected consumer is a focal objective. There is also an external dimension to EU animal welfare protection, which is a key aspect to its regulatory strategy and its multilateral activities support the standard-setting initiatives of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in a cooperative relationship. This public relationship is a important for the direction which this thesis pursues. Its interest lies further in animal welfare governance in an era in which both public and private bodies set standards by which animals are raised for food in a global market for agricultural produce, ‘one which crosses national borders’. Integral to the thesis is the relationship between public and private institutions. Public and private animal welfare standards exist alongside each other, yet the inter-relationship between these standards and their respective inter-institutional balance is uncertain in law. Indeed, the extent to which there should be public regulation of private animal welfare standard setters and accreditation bodies is core.

Research interests

Currently, my research interests focus on transnational hybrid animal welfare governance; soft law regulatory regime interaction and corporate/market opportunity in the agri-food chain; public and private animal welfare labelling, benchmarking of standards and the communication of credible information to the credence consumer of agri-food.

As a member of the British Standards Institute I played an active role in the drafting of an ISO Technical Specification on animal welfare management related to the food supply chain, which was the subject of negotiation in Working Group 16, prior to its adoption by ISO Technical Committee 34 Food Products comprised of 78 Member Countries world-wide. International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Specification (T/S) 34700 Animal welfare management – General requirements and guidance for organizations in the food supply chain (2016) https://www.iso.org/standard/64749.html .

The European Court of Auditors carried out a performance audit of the EU’s Farm Animal Welfare Policy. It was the first audit specialising in animal welfare in agriculture and considered issues raised by stakeholders as well as coordination of the EU Common Agricultural Policy, with a focus on the strengths and weaknesses in implementation of EU animal welfare policy. I was an invited member of an expert panel meeting in Luxembourg in March 2018 to discuss issues within the ECA’s stated remit prior to the audit report.

Research Centre Membership: 

  • Centre for Business Law and Practice
  • Centre for Law and Social Justice

Recent publications include:

(2018) D Ryland, ‘Animal Welfare Governance: GLOBALG.A.P. and the Search for External Legitimacy’ 3 Journal of Environmental Law, 453-482.

(2017) D Ryland, Animal Welfare Standards in Agriculture: Drivers, Implications, Interface? In M Alabrese, M Brunori, S Rolandi, A Saba (eds) Agricultural Law-Current Issues from a Global Perspective. Legal Issues in Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies Series (LITES) Springer, 181-210.

(2017) D Ryland, Communicating Animal Welfare in Agriculture: Public and Private Information and Dialogue (Abstract). In I.C. De Jong and P. Koene (eds.) Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on the Assessment of Animal Welfare at the Farm and Group Level, Ede-Wageningen, Netherlands, 5-8 Sept. 2017, 254. 

(2016) D Ryland, ‘The Advocate General; EU Adversarial Procedure; Accession to the ECHR’ 2 European Human Rights Law Review, 169-183.

(2015) D Ryland, ‘Animal Welfare in the Reformed Common Agricultural Policy: Wherefore Art Thou?’ 17(1) Environmental Law Review, 22-43.

(2014) D Ryland, The Advocate General and the Right to a Fair Hearing: What Future? In J Carby-Hall (ed) Essays on Human Rights in Celebration of the Life of Dr Janusz Kochanowski, Ius et Lex, 354-387.

(2014) D Ryland, Advancing Animal Welfare: State, Society and Economy. In Democratic and Social State under the Rule of Law: Society, Politics, Economy, Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Kraków University and The Jagiellonian University, Poland, 851-867.


  • LL.M. International Business Law with Distinction - Hull (1993) Prize: FW Taylor Fund
  • LL.B. Hull (1992) Prizes: Andrew Marvell Jackson Fund General Performance and European Community Law
  • Associate Fellow - Higher Education Authority (2014)