Twenty-five years ago, in the first issue of Animal Law, the author offered an account of why legal rights do not need to be restricted to human beings. Here the author expands upon that account to provide a review of the ongoing struggle of the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) to obtain legal rights for nonhuman animals. The author outlines habeas corpus cases the NhRP has brought on behalf of chimpanzees and elephants in New York and Connecticut and provides a view of the New York and Connecticut Pet Trust Statutes, which grant domestic or pet animals the right to be named a beneficiary of a trust, thereby implicitly creating their legal personhood. This Article further argues that legal personhood does not necessarily attach to humans alone and illuminates the varieties of judicial responses it has encountered in its effort to persuade courts to assign legal personhood to nonhuman animals.
Steven M. Wise,
The Struggle for the Legal Rights of Nonhuman Animals Begins: The Experience of the Nonhuman Rights Project in New York and Connecticut,
Animal L. Rev.
Available at: https://lawcommons.lclark.edu/alr/vol25/iss3/6