As part of ERA’s commitment to helping licence holders make best use of the material available to them, we have decided to start highlighting our ‘top pick’ each week.
On Wednesday the 22nd of June, BBC4 are airing a new film as a part of their Storyville strand that looks into the legal rights of animals.
Documentary following animal rights lawyer Steven Wise in his unprecedented challenge to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. Steve and his legal team are making history by filing the first lawsuits that seek to transform an animal from a thing with no rights to a person with legal protections. It is an intimate look at a lawsuit that could forever transform our legal system, and one man’s lifelong quest to protect ‘nonhuman’ animals.
Supported by affidavits from primatologists around the world, Steve maintains that, based on scientific evidence, cognitively complex animals such as chimpanzees, whales, dolphins and elephants have the capacity for limited personhood rights. Filing lawsuits used to free humans from unlawful imprisonment, Wise argues on behalf of four captive chimpanzees in New York State.
The film captures a monumental shift in our culture, as the public and judicial system show increasing receptiveness to Steve’s impassioned arguments.
The film could be of interest to law students, as well as students looking into issues of bioethics.
You can also access curated clips through our new learning platform .To use the platform, you just need to email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set-up a login so that you can access the site freely.