Peter Sankoff joined the Faculty of Law at the University of Auckland in 2001. He is now a Senior Lecturer and researches and teaches in the areas of Evidence, Criminal Law, the trial process and the relationship between animals and the law. His work in the latter field focuses on the manner in which the law attempts to protect animals from harm by creating criminal sanctions, and on two issues in particular: 1) the inefficacy of the criminal sanction as a manner for protecting animals from harm, and 2) the government's use of criminal sanctions as a means of avoiding tough questions about how animals should be treated, and the lack of any remedial options for animal advocacy groups under a welfare regime.
From 2001-2005, Peter Sankoff was the Co-Chair of the New Zealand animal advocacy group the Animal Rights Legal Advocacy Network (ARLAN), a group that has been heavily involved in legislative reform, providing submissions on a number of animal related statutes, and campaigning for better protection for animals in a range of industries. Peter still consults with ARLAN and shares their goals of raising the profile of animal law related issues, and establishing educational opportunities for lawyers and law students about this important area of legal study.
In 2007, Peter was the co-recipient (with Steven White of Griffith Law School in Queensland) of a prestigious Voiceless grant of $15000 AUD to organize an animal law workshop in September 2007 and the first Australasian book ever written about animal law. This volume, Animal Law in Australasia, has now been published by Federation Press.