Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Are Chimps Legal Persons?

Photo: A retired lab chimpanzee at Chimp Haven, a sanctuary in Louisiana. An animal-rights group is currently seeking to have two chimps on Long Island sent to a sanctuary in Florida. Credit Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor, via Getty Images
[VV note: As we've asked our readers before, if chimps are legally persons and corporations are legally persons, does that mean corporations are legally chimps and vice versa?]

Judge Orders Stony Brook University to Defend Its Custody of 2 Chimps

By JESSE McKINLEY, NYT
APRIL 21, 2015

They may not know it, and they most certainly will not be in attendance, but Hercules and Leo will have their day in court.

A judge in Manhattan has ordered a hearing that will touch upon the continuing debate over whether caged chimpanzees can be considered “legal persons,” in the eyes of the law, and thus sue, with human help of course, for their freedom.

At issue in this case — one of several percolating though the courts in New York and elsewhere — is the fate of Hercules and Leo, a pair of chimpanzees that their legal representatives say are “unlawfully detained” at a university on Long Island.

The order, by Justice Barbara Jaffe of New York State Supreme Court, directed officials at Stony Brook University to show cause for holding the two chimps, at a May 6 hearing.

(More here.)

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