The title of the opening event at Cambridge University was "Animal Rights Law: Present and Future". After an introduction by Dr. Sean Butler and Raffael Fasel, Dr. Saskia Stucki (MPIL Heidelberg; Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program) spoke on the theoretical differences between "simple" and "fundamental" animal rights. Dr. Alasdair Cochrane (University of Sheffield) went on to argue that the rights of non-human animals should be seen as part of the same normative concept as human rights. Dr. Jeff Sebo (New York University) presented various philosophical arguments in favor of legal personhood and the debate surrounding habeas corpus for non-human animals, while Steven Wise talked about the most recent habeus corpus cases that he had brought to court on behalf of chimpanzees and elephants within the scope of his Nonhuman Rights Project. TIR Executive Director Dr. Gieri Bolliger also had the honor of speaking at the opening conference. His talk focused on the protection of animal dignity in Swiss law. In a concluding panel discussion, in which Katerina Stoykova, legal associate at TIR, was also represented on the panel, the speakers responded to various questions from the audience.
TIR would like to congratulate the Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights Law on this very successful launch and wishes them the very best for the future. We support their efforts towards becoming an academic center of European and global importance. We are convinced that the institute will attract influential lawyers and legal philosophers in the role of lecturers, researchers, and visiting scholars, and that it will promote the research of animal rights in courses, conferences, and renowned journals, and attract the attention of politicians and legislators in the UK, Europe, and around the world.