• The Nonhuman Rights Project

    Why the Nonhuman Rights Project Is Unique

    The Nonhuman Rights Project is unlike any other organization in the world. Why? Because we’re the only group working through the common law to achieve actual LEGAL rights for members of species other than our own. The way our law …

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    Why ‘Animal Rights’ Is a Contradiction in Terms

    Hundreds of organizations say they work for “animal rights.” But the only animal with legal rights is the human animal. No other animal has any rights at all. None.

    How come?

    To have a legal right, one must have the …

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    Are You a Legal ‘Person’ or a Legal ‘Thing’?

    For a very long time, a thick legal wall has separated humans from all the other animals.

    In Western law, every nonhuman animal has always been regarded as a legal “thing.” We buy, sell, eat, hunt, ride, trap, vivisect, and …

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    What Kinds of Rights Are We Seeking for Nonhuman Animals?

    We begin by seeking two kinds of fundamental rights for our nonhuman plaintiffs: bodily liberty and bodily integrity.

    Bodily liberty means not being held in captivity. For a chimpanzee, it means not spending life in a laboratory; for an elephant, …

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    How We Select Our Plaintiffs

    Three criteria determine how we select plaintiffs:

    1. We look at the bedrock qualities courts value when determining whether an individual is a “legal person” who should possess certain fundamental rights.
    2. We examine the relevant judicial decisions and statutes of every
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    How We Go About Filing Our Cases

    By the end of 2013, the Nonhuman Rights Project will have launched the first in a series of lawsuits that demand that American state high courts:

    1. Declare certain nonhuman animal plaintiffs to be common law “persons” who possess the capacity
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The Nonhuman Rights Project is the only organization working through the common law to achieve actual LEGAL rights for members of species other than our own.
Our mission is to change the common law status of at least some nonhuman animals from mere “things,” which lack the capacity to possess any legal right, to “persons,” who possess such fundamental rights as bodily integrity and bodily liberty, and those other legal rights to which evolving standards of morality, scientific discovery, and human experience entitle them.
Our first cases were filed in December 2013, and this year we will file as many suits as we have funds available. Your support of this work is deeply appreciated.

Highlights

Judge Calls Arguments on Rights of Chimpanzees ‘Extremely Interesting and Well Argued’

The Nonhuman Rights Project issued the following press release this evening:

Judge Calls Arguments on Rights of Chimpanzees ‘Extremely Interesting and Well Argued’

May 27, 2015 – New York, NY – At a hearing today in a New York County

New York Attorney General Responds to NhRP’s Petition for Habeas Corpus and NhRP Replies

On Friday, May 22, 2015, the Attorney General of New York filed two documents in the Hercules and Leo chimpanzee case. The first document is a response to our petition for habeas corpus along with a motion to move the …

Media Alert: NY County Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in “Hercules and Leo” Chimpanzee Rights Case filed by NhRP

WHAT: New York County Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in First-of-its-Kind Hearing in “Hercules and Leo” Chimpanzee Rights Case filed by Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP)

WHEN: Wednesday, May 27, 2015
10:30 am Eastern Time

WHERE: New York County Supreme Court, …

New Location for May 27th Hearing in Hercules and Leo’s Case

N.Y. County Supreme Court Civil Branch (Photo Credit: WikiCommons)

NYC Supreme Court at 60 Centre St. (Djmutex/Wikipedia)

UPDATE: Justice Barbara Jaffe has moved the location of Hercules’ and Leo’s upcoming hearing—in which Stony Brook University must appear in court to give a legally justifiable reason why they are …

Nonhuman Rights Project President Steven M. Wise Advocates for Nonhuman Rights in New TED Talk

The Nonhuman Rights Project issued the following press release this morning:


Nonhuman Rights President Steven M. Wise advocates for Nonhuman Rights in New TED Talk

TED Talk released one week before first-of-its-kind hearing for imprisoned chimpanzee plaintiffs

May 20, 2015

Harvard Law Professor Laurence H. Tribe Submits Amicus Curiae “Letter-Brief” in Support of The Nonhuman Rights Project

The Nonhuman Rights Project issued the following press release this afternoon:

BREAKING NEWS

Harvard Law Professor Laurence H. Tribe Submits Amicus Curiae “Letter-Brief” in Support of The Nonhuman Rights Project

May 19, 2015, New York, NY—This week noted legal