Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism
"On January 5, 2008 the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) held an Open Program on “Debating Animals as Legal Persons” as part of the AALS annual conference. Defining “personhood” for purposes of allocating legal rights is a highly problematic endeavor. Nonhuman animals, although sentient beings, are treated as “property” under the law. They are legal “things” and thus excluded from legal personhood. This session explored the legal and normative basis for personhood and why nonhuman animals have been excluded from its ambit.
The guest panelists included: Chair -Joan Schaffner, Associate Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School Moderator -Katherine Hessler, Professor of Law, Case School of Law Panelists -Taimie Bryant, Professor of Law, UCLA Law School -David Cassuto, Associate Professor of Law, Pace Law School -David Favre, Professor of Law, Michigan State University Law School -Steven Wise, Adjunct Professor of Law, Vermont Law School, St. Thomas University School of Law As a result of this Open Program and the efforts and support of the panelists, the Animal Law Section was formally adopted by the AALS Executive Committee in June 2008."