Science and Animal Law

Kimmela is at the center of the intersection of science and animal law. We offer new online courses and collaborat with top animal law and policy programs.

The field of animal law has been rapidly expanding globally, and there are now academic programs in North America and several other countries offering curricula in fields from litigation practices to legal philosophy to social justice to ethics. Kimmela is working to develop this field by bringing science to animal law. Our two main current projects are:

Online CLE Course

In collaboration with the Lewis & Clark Law School Center for Animal Law Studies we have released a new CLE Webinar: Using Law and Science to Help Animals”.

The webinar features Dr. Marino and Clinical Professor Kathy Hessler, Director of our Animal Law Clinic and Aquatic Animal Law Initiative (AALI) providing an introductory overview of how lawyers can effectively use science in their animal protection legal work.

Approved for 1 Oregon continuing legal education credit (check for eligibility in other states).

Watch here.

Brooks Institute Law and Science Summit

With the support of the Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law & Policy we are developing a program to bring together scholars in science and animal law for an in-person summit in early Fall 2022. 

This summit will initiate a broader program aimed at identifying areas in animal law and policy that can benefit from more integration with science knowledge and projects that will bring animal law and policy together with scientific expertise and experience in the most impactful way.

The Nonhuman Rights Project

The Kimmela Center has played a critical role in the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) litigation on behalf of captive chimpanzees and elephants in New York State.

Led by prominent animal rights attorney Steven Wise, the NhRP is working to change the common law status of large-brained, socially complex nonhuman animals from legal “things” or “property” to “persons” with certain fundamental rights like the right to bodily liberty and bodily integrity.

In presenting such a case to a court, arguments must be based on a solid foundation of scientific evidence for cognitive and emotional abilities – evidence that clearly demonstrates an animal’s eligibility for common law personhood.

Kimmela is uniquely positioned to provide the kind of scientific information and weight of expertise for the NhRP and other legal efforts.