Legal rights for non-human beings?

  • For more than five decades, representatives of the animal liberation movement and of a biocentric or even ecocentric perspective have been demanding that legal rights should be recognised for non-human beings. In 1780, the British philosopher Jeremy Bentham was the first to argue in favour of granting legal rights to animals (cf. Sezgin 2016). More generally, the United States jurist Christopher Stone (cf. Stone 1972) demanded legal rights for trees and for all elements of nature. Such concepts have been legally implemented in a few cases since the beginning of the 21st century, although there are still fundamental questions and differentiating rejections of the idea of legal rights for nature. This article develops a theological-ethical argumentation for the recognition of dignity for non-human beings with the consequence of granting legal rights in an ecocentric perspective.

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Author:Traugott JähnichenORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Scriptura
Subtitle (German):Theological impulses for ecological justice as a key concept of an ecocentric ethics
Publisher:Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service
Place of publication:Stellenbosch
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2024/03/20
Date of first Publication:2023/10/17
Publishing Institution:Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsbibliothek
Tag:Open Access Fonds
Dignity of Nature; Integrity of Creation; Participation; Sustainability; Theocentrism
First Page:2140-1
Last Page:2140-9
Article Processing Charge funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Open Access Publication Fund of Ruhr-Universität Bochum.
Institutes/Facilities:Lehrstuhl für Christliche Gesellschaftslehre
Dewey Decimal Classification:Religion / Religion, Religionsphilosophie
open_access (DINI-Set):open_access
faculties:Evangelisch-Theologische Fakultät
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 - Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International