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NY Supreme Court grants habeas corpus hearing to monkeys...

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  • NY Supreme Court grants habeas corpus hearing to monkeys...

    Welcome to the twilight zone....

    N.Y. judge to consider claims that chimpanzees are 'legal persons'
    And since hyperlinks seem to be broken today... http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/...0NC1MK20150421

    (Reuters) - An animal rights group has been granted a court hearing in which it will argue that two chimpanzees who live at a New York state university cannot be held captive because they are autonomous, intelligent creatures.

    New York State Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe in Manhattan issued an order late Monday (https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/fbe...==&system=prod), called a writ of habeas corpus, requiring the State University of New York at Stony Brook on Long Island to defend its right in court to keep the primates, Hercules and Leo. A writ of habeas corpus requires a person to be released from unlawful imprisonment.

    In what it said was the first case of its kind in the world, the Nonhuman Rights Project claims that because chimpanzees are autonomous, intelligent creatures, their captivity amounts to unlawful imprisonment under the law. They want the pair of chimps, who are used in research on physical movement at the university, to be sent to a sanctuary in Florida.

    Under the law, such orders can be granted only to "legal persons," so Jaffe would need to find that chimpanzees have at least some limited rights traditionally reserved for humans.

    Jaffe did not explain the reason for issuing the order in Monday's brief decision.

    The university did not immediately return a request for comment on Tuesday.

    The hearing, in which the university will be represented by the New York state Attorney General's office, is scheduled for May 6.

    In separate cases, the group, founded by Boston attorney and animal rights activist Steven Wise, sued the owners of two chimpanzees who live in upstate New York. State judges tossed out both lawsuits, and separate appeals courts upheld those rulings.

    Wise has asked the state's top court, the Court of Appeals, to hear the cases. He has said a victory could spur similar cases on behalf of elephants, dolphins, whales and other intelligent animals.

    In a more traditional animal welfare case in December, a judge in Argentina said an orangutan who lives at a zoo could be freed and transferred to a sanctuary.

    The group behind that case made similar arguments to those presented by Wise, but the judge did not go so far as to grant the orangutan, Sandra, the rights reserved for humans.

    The case is Nonhuman Rights Project v. Stanley, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 152736-2015.
    If the judge can't tell the difference between a human and a chimpanzee, she shouldn't be on the bench at all. In fact she should probably be institutionalized for research right along side the chimps.

  • #2
    It is an interesting moral question about what constitutes sentience.
    It's certainly not as black and white as you seem to think and while I don't agree with the human rights guys I can see what they are trying to do here in trying to free what they see as sentient creatures.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Commodore View Post
      Welcome to the twilight zone....

      N.Y. judge to consider claims that chimpanzees are 'legal persons'
      And since hyperlinks seem to be broken today... http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/...0NC1MK20150421



      If the judge can't tell the difference between a human and a chimpanzee, she shouldn't be on the bench at all. In fact she should probably be institutionalized for research right along side the chimps.
      Why would you treat your distant cousin so badly?

      I do think that certain species should have greater protection that other species. Like chimps, dolphins whales. Perhaps even dogs too. But since humanity is so brutal to one another, I don't expect we will treat the higher sentient mammals any better than we treat one another.

      מה מכילות החדשות?


      • #4
        From the Non-Human Rights Groups website...

        The Nonhuman Rights Project is determined to cut the Gordian Knot that binds every nonhuman animal to perpetual rightlessness. Judicial acceptance of the overwhelming scientific evidence and strong legal arguments why our nonhuman plaintiff is a legal “person” with the capacity for legal rights will open the first crack in the legal wall that has for so long separated humans from every other animal.
        I ask, what capacity does any animal have to exercise legal rights? If a chimpanzee was brought into a courtroom, and threw poop at the judge, would the Non-Human Rights group except that chimp being held for contempt of court? Would it learn its lesson?

        I think not.

        Don't get me wrong, I think there is much we can learn from animals, that is their purpose. Wild ones should be preserved in an environment as close to to their natural one as possible. But they have no capacity for legal rights.
        Last edited by Commodore; 05-11-2015, 10:12 PM.

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        • #5
          As I said this cuts to the core of the idea of whether or not some animals are sentient and if so do they need rights.

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          • #6
            Thereks a difference beetween sentient and sapient. Human rights are based on sapience where they are specially applicable otherwise. The chimp may indeed be sentiient but it lacks the capacity to act without guidance in a curtroom and would need the help of a person.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JDJarvis View Post
              Thereks a difference beetween sentient and sapient. Human rights are based on sapience where they are specially applicable otherwise. The chimp may indeed be sentiient but it lacks the capacity to act without guidance in a curtroom and would need the help of a person.
              Plenty of humans fit that criteria as well should they also forfeit human rights?
              For example a person with severe metal dysfunction or someone in a coma can't defend themselves without absolute help by court staff.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PeterUK75 View Post
                Plenty of humans fit that criteria as well should they also forfeit human rights?
                For example a person with severe metal dysfunction or someone in a coma can't defend themselves without absolute help by court staff.
                At that point all decisions for their welfare are made by a legal representative, pretty much like an animal. But if you where to make a list of rights, they really couldn't use any of them.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Commodore View Post

                  At that point all decisions for their welfare are made by a legal representative, pretty much like an animal. But if you where to make a list of rights, they really couldn't use any of them.
                  So you agree that someone can have human rights even if they need help so how are higher apes any different if we can prove they are sentient?

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                  • #10
                    The burden of proof should be on the one "experimenting", that they have a need to act as they do, and do not harm the species as a whole. It fits the legal system better (made by and for humans), and it makes better sense for the critters.

                    Otherwise, the potential for abuse continues. The "animal defense" attorney interprets what he thinks is best for his client, yet that is not formed on coherent communication with the critter. That is no more legitimate than the corporate stooge claiming animals killed in a large zone off a given coastal area are less important that corporate operations. The fact that animals will move in to replace the ones killed off (once the mess is cleaned up) ignores the biology and economy of the situation. IOW, the permanent damage to the zone is the argument, which can be quantified in money amounts. Apply that to the corporation, divide up it's parts to competitors, prohibit the responsible executives from further employment at the executive level. Both biology and economy are satisfied because the offense against the animal's environment will not be repeated due to the harsh consequence.

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