Courts Say Chimps Aren’t People

Denies rights as 'legal people'

  • Share
  • Read Later

Three New York courts have ruled that captive chimpanzees do not count as “legal people,” swatting back an activist group’s bid to grant them legal rights.

The Nonhuman Rights Project filed three lawsuits on behalf of four chimps in order to win them the right to “bodily liberty.” The group wants the chimps to be moved to a sanctuary where they can live in an environment that resembles their wild habitat, CNN reports. 

(MORE: Do chimps have human rights? This lawsuit says yes)

Founder and President Steve Wise has previously said that the lawsuits aimed to ask “judges to recognize, for the first time, that these cognitively complex, autonomous beings have the basic legal right to not be imprisoned.”

The Nonhuman Rights Project had expected to lose this first round of lawsuits, but the group plans to appeal the decisions as a habeas corpus petition, most likely in early 2014.



In show of solidarity with the chimps, dolphins have begun a work stoppage. Killer Whales are considering joining the strike. The Penguins are upset because they were not consulted and not invited to join any strike.

sdunnlevelrun you find it interesting the courts do not find chimps as 'legal' people...therefore insuring life, liberty and pursuit of happines...BUT:

....the Supreme Court finds inorganic corporations as 'people'?

...what am I missing..other than politics..ergo:...representation.

...chimps evidently need a PAC


@sdunnlevelrun Corporations are not people and are not considered people by the law. They are legal construct to represent groups of people. Some the rights of the people that own the corporation are passed through to the corporation.


First, are laws base on love? If so, is love towards chimps different, special? Likewise, is love towards human beings, stones or human-like robots with charming software-behaviour different? That is, is selective-love love itself? What is the essential difference between chimp life and human life, just a different way of arranging atoms? Anyway, does differences prevent to love? Can limited human knowledge understand life as a whole, as a living thing much more deeper than its discriminative thoughts? Along these lines, a serious-funny b-book recommendation, a preview in Just another mind leisure suggestion, far away from dogmas or axioms.


A pamphlet distributed by Milwaukee SOUL (Save Our Unwanted Lives) points out that under current U.S. law, corporations are considered legal persons, while humans in prenatal development are denied this moral status. (reprinted in Pro-Life Feminism: Different Voices, 1985) 

In 1989, Presbyterian minister and environmental activist Richard Cartwright Austin discussed proposals to amend the Constitution: 

"It is time to affirm that all creatures within the boundaries of our nation deserve constitutional recognition, and that rights extend beyond the human community... 

"To secure their rights within our legal system they would, of course, require human agents willing to argue their case, just as agents now represent the perceived interests of infants, the comatose, and others who cannot speak on their own behalf. 

"Corporations, which are legal constructions and not natural beings, have standing in court to protect their interests now... 

"A constitutional amendment to recognize the rights of a vast new constituency -- all God's creatures--will not succeed without broad popular support. Animals ask us for considerate treatment and the earth cries for loving care." 

Austin's words reflect the rising tide of environmental concern in America and the emergence of an animal liberation theology.

Democrats For Life of America (DFLA), 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, South Building, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20004 (202) - 220 - 3066


it would be much easyer if she goes to where the monkey lives. and stay there so she canhelp them.


I don't know about legal status, but I think it is our responsibility, if we are taking these animals into captivity, to provide them with a decent environment. That is just the right thing to do.