Writs of Habeas Corpus for Nonhuman Primates in the United States and the Nonhuman Rights Project: Legal Processes and Arguments Used to Secure Nonhuman Animal Rights
Questions concerning (nonhuman) animal rights have been increasingly addressed within the criminological literature due to growing interest in green criminology. Often within criminology, animal rights issues have been primarily addressed from philosophical standpoints, which omit how animal rights are addressed in more concrete terms through the legal system. This philosophical orientation toward animal rights, while important, has led to a neglect of the ways in which animal rights might be promoted through legal means. This article addresses that latter point by exploring the use of writs of habeas corpus for animals promoted by Steven Wise and the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) in the US. Much of the NhRP’s efforts have been devoted to nonhuman primates, and consistent with that approach, this assessment focuses attention on legal efforts to protect nonhuman primates’ rights. In addition to NhRP efforts, other possibilities for using the law to obtain rights for animals in the US are examined. While this article focuses on circumstances in the US, several nations employ such writs or similar legal mechanisms.
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