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Sample Essay on Monkeys with Human Rights: a Reality?

January 27th, 2016

monkeys in wildAnother unique event happened in the US history. According to the verdict of a judge, a pair of chimpanzees kept currently at the research facility of Stony Brook University is covered by the same range of laws as the Americans. A judge has decreed that Hercules and Leo are rendered as legal “people” when it comes to law.

The New York City Supreme Court Judge Barbara Jaffe stated that the animals kept for scientific research purposes are covered by a basic law principle called “the writ of habeas corpus”. The latter is known to enable humans to challenge the validity of their detention. But the fact is that a couple of hours later, the Supreme Court judge amended her court order to eliminate habeas corpus decision. Basically, that reversed the decision she made earlier.

The non-decision mentioned above appeared right after the animal rights group called Nonhuman Rights that made a legal case in order to set four animals free. The representatives of the group claimed that Leo and Hercules, as well as two other chimpanzees were being imprisoned illegally and had to be taken to the sanctuary straight away. In 2013 the cases were finally dismissed by the three lower court judges. However, the members of the Nonhuman Rights Project appealed and succeeded in convincing Barbara Jaffe that chimpanzees were intelligent enough to provide them with what is called basic human rights on a temporary basis.

Barbara Jaffe ordered the representative of the Stony Brook to come to the court in order to reply to the petition of the Nonhuman Rights Project that claimed the animals were kept illegally. Law professor at California’s Pepperdine University Richard Cupp told that the decision made by the judged was first of all caused by the desire to listen to both sides of the case before making any suggestions regarding the chimps and their status.

But the executive director of the Nonhuman Rights Project Natalie Prosin said once the original decision was made that regardless of whether the two animals are afforded lawful personhood after hearing, the organization is going to make use of the ruling of the judge in the future as well.

Natalie Prosin stated that her colleagues have a range of scientific evidence required to prove during the hearing that great apes, dolphins, elephants and whales are the so-called autonomous creatures that must be also be provided with the right to bodily liberty. Prosin also claims that together with people who share the same viewpoints, they will prove “these non-human animals aren’t property.”

According to the experts of the Science, the judge who stated that Hercules and Leo were covered by the writ of habeas corpus made a decision to amend her court order to step away from that statement. The story with two chimps has been constantly updated, and the next hearing will finally determine whether the animals are being kept illegally.


  1. Dickens Charles, Bleak House, New York 1977 (cit. Dickens, Bleak House).
  2. Hobbes Thomas, Leviathan, in: Curley Edwin (Ed.), Indianapolis 1994 (cit. Hobbes, Leviathan).
  3. Hume David, Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, in: Selby-Bigge L. A./Nidditch P. H. (Ed.), Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding and Concerning the Principles of Morals, 3rd edition, Oxford 1975 (cit. Hume, Second Enquiry).
  4. Cass R. Sunstein, The Rights of Animals: A Very Short Primer (August 2002).
  5. Animal Welfare: A Cool Eye Towards Eden By: John Webster Publisher: Blackwell Science (UK) ISBN: 0632039280.
  6. Encyclopaedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare By: M. Beckoff Publisher: Greenwood Press ISBN: 0313299773.
  7. Through Our Eyes Only? By: M. S. Dawkins Publisher: Oxford University Press ISBN: 0198503202
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