Coronavirus Information and Update: Spring 2021 Plans

Diego Plaza

LLM ’20

Chile - Executive Director of CEDA Chile. Correspondent in Chile for AFADA ONG. CALS Ambassador (2021-2022)

CALS Ambassador

Diego, a native of the city of Viña del Mar, Chile, obtained his law degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso in 2015. After obtaining his degree, he traveled to the city of Santiago de Chile to work as a consultant attorney in a Civil Court. In 2017, he obtained a degree in environment and sustainable development at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile’s law school. In 2019, Diego was awarded with the International Society for Animal Rights / Alice Herrington Memorial Scholarship and traveled to Portland Oregon to pursue his LLM in Animal Law at Lewis & Clark, where he graduated with honors and the Cornelius Honor Society distinction for his leadership and academic excellence.

Diego has always had a strong interest and passion for animals. Thus, while studying law in Valparaiso, he co-founded the first student animal studies group. In 2016, he worked as legal advisor for the NGO Animal Libre, and while pursuing his LLM, he worked in Amy Wilson’s Animal Law Reform South Africa nonprofit. In addition, before the end of the first semester of the program, he founded the Center for Chilean Animal Law Studies CEDA Chile (Centro de Estudios de Derecho Animal CEDA Chile in spanish), the first center specialized in Chilean animal law.

Back in Chile, Diego has continued specializing in animal matters, participating in courses taught by prestigious institutions such as Duke University, University of Edinburgh, and the University of Alberta, and he is currently collaborating with Harvard Law School’s “Animal Law & Policy Program” and Max Planck Institute in the elaboration of the “Handbook on Global Animal Law” to be published in 2022 in the Oxford Handbook Series (Oxford University Press).

In Chile, Diego has issued specialized opinions on upcoming bills and has collaborated with several animal NGO’s and coalitions. In addition, he has participated in various discussion forums addressing different animal issues, has been invited as a guest lecturer in animal law courses taught by Chilean and European universities, and is collaborating on different international animal projects.

In late 2020, Diego accepted the position of “Correspondent in Chile” for AFADA NGO, the Argentinian NGO known for the filing of habeas corpus on behalf of the chimpanzee Cecilia and the orangutan Sandra, which also maintains an alliance of technical collaboration with CEDA Chile, in academic and litigious matters.

In early 2021, the Latin American Journal of Critical Animal Studies (Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios Críticos Animales) of the Latin American Institute for Critical Animal Studies published his research entitled “Liberty, Equality and Abolition: Paving the way towards an animal post-abolitionism and a libertarian Animal Law.” In addition, two of his most recent research papers will be published in Chilean academic journals during the year.

Diego was selected as a CALS Ambassador in the inaugural round of the Global Ambassador Program for the period 2021-2022 by proposing a plan of action that included the development of academic activities, the coordination of legal research projects in Chilean animal law, the design and proposition of an Animal Law syllabus, and the creation of a foundation dedicated to animal activism in various levels of action, among other activities.

Currently, Diego is the Executive Director of the Center for Chilean Animal Law Studies CEDA Chile. Besides, he is working on the legal constitution of the foundation through which he plans to carry out strategic litigation, to position key animal issues in the public discussion, and advance the moral consideration of non-human animals in the predominant cultural discourses.