Update: Nonhuman Rights Project- Leo and Hercules

We have been asked whether the ruling in the U.S case* brought by NHRP means that legal personhood for chimpanzees has been recognised. NHRP has provided the following clarification about this:

The Order does not necessarily mean that the Court has declared that the two chimpanzees, Hercules and Leo, are legal persons for the purpose of an Article 70 common law writ of habeas corpus proceeding. In New York, an Article 70 proceeding has two steps. The first is that the Court may issue an Order to Show Cause (which is the equivalent of a writ of habeas corpus, except the petitioner does not request that the body of the alleged detainee be immediately brought before the Court). The issuance of the Order means, we believe, that the Court believes at minimum that the chimpanzees could possibly be legal persons for the purpose of Article 70, without deciding that they are, and that the issue will be determined only after it is fully briefed and argued at the adversarial hearing that is step 2 of the Article 70 proceeding.’

We will keep members informed about the full hearing when the Attorney General, representing Stony Brook, will appear in court to argue that there is a legally sufficient reason for detaining the chimps.

*the Nonhuman Rights Project Inc. On behalf of Hercules and Leo v Samuel L Stanley J.R M.D., as President of State University of New York at Stony Brook a/k/a Stony Brook University and STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT STONY BOOK a/k/a STONY BROOK UNIVERSTIY(2015)

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