Diego Plaza

Executive Director, CEDA Chile & President, Fundación Justicia Interespecie
LLM ’20, CALS Ambassador 2021, 2021-2022

CALS Ambassador (2021-22)

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. 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).

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, American, and European universities, and is collaborating on different international animal projects. In addition, during 2021 Diego was invited to participate in a panel at the 39th Public Interest Environmental Law Conference and will participate in a panel at the upcoming 29th Annual Animal Law Conference.

Some of Diego’s legal research in animal law has been published by Chilean and international journals, and he has worked on the development of post-abolitionist animal dogmatic postulates, which have generated great interest both in Chile and abroad. Currently, his book “Liberty, Equality and Abolition: Paving the Way Towards an Animal Post-Abolitionism” (Libertad, Igualdad y Abolición: Construyendo el Camino Hacia un Post-Abolicionismo Animal in Spanish) is in the process of being published through Editorial Olejnik, and of being distributed in Chile, Argentina, and Spain. Furthermore, an abridged version of LEA was published in Chile and will soon be part of a Mexican collective work.

During 2021, Diego founded the Interspecies Justice Foundation (Fundación Justicia Interespecie in Spanish), an NGO that aims to carry out both direct and judicial animal activism towards intersectional and interspecies justice.

Diego was also 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. During the year 2021, Diego was selected as CALS Ambassador for the second period of the program, by proposing the execution of several projects, among them, the creation of the first animal legal publishing house in Chile.