Should Nonhuman Animals be Given Legal Personhood?

Great Apes, elephants, dolphins and whales have long been studied by scientists uncovering that they are cognitively complex creatures. However, under the law these animals are considered ‘property’ or ‘things’. Because of this, there has been a push for the status of these animals to change to having legal personhood. This has caused quite a debate in the community with some people arguing that a rights based approach is not appropriate, and that a legal person status can only be granted to a person that has both rights and duties in society.

2SER spoke with Dr Joanna Kyriakakis, Senior Lecturer of Law at Monash University. 

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