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Center for Animal Law Studies

Steven Wise coming to the Center for Animal Law Studies

May 18, 2016

  • ©Michael B. Lloyd
  • Pennebaker Hegedus Films

Erskine B. Wood Hall

Come July, when the documentary Unlocking the Cage, by Pennebaker Hegedus Films, premieres on HBO, there may not be a more famous animal rights lawyer than Steven Wise, J.D. As President of the Nonhuman Rights Project and adjunct professor with the Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) at Lewis & Clark Law School, Wise is actively building the case for why the legal protections of “personhood” ought to extend to a few nonhuman species, too. Habeas Corpus cases have been filed in New York on behalf of both Tommy and Kiko, the primates at the center of the documentary, and two among many animals suffering extended captivity at the hands of organizations free to treat them as “things”.

This July, join Professor Steven Wise at CALS and learn why such a fight is long overdue. In the leafy, beautiful setting of Lewis & Clark’s campus in Portland, Oregon, get a firsthand account of the obstacles to achieving fundamental rights, including liberty, for nonhuman species. What inroads have been made? What are the challenges resulting from existing laws? What are the current strategies for obtaining legal standing? 

There’s no doubt that with the upcoming film and the many events hosted by the NhRP, Wise hopes to make Tommy and Kiko household names. But it will take more than empathy and outrage to change the system. Those passionate about law and reform must put their talents to use. What rights do you think ought to be granted to nonhuman species? This summer’s Animal Rights Law & Jurisprudence is the right forum to explore these issues.

Join us.


– Jennifer Williams

For more information:

Lindsay Kadish