Prof. Maneesha Deckha (University of Victoria): Animals as Legal Beings: Toward a Post-Anthropocentric Legal Ontology


  • Datum: 02.05.2024
  • Uhrzeit: 16:00
  • Ort: Hybrid-Veranstaltung

Prof. Maneesha Deckha (University of Victoria): Animals as Legal Beings: Toward a Post-Anthropocentric Legal Ontology

Gastvortrag im Rahmen der Reihe "Hamburg Forum on Comparative Animal Law" am 2. Mai 2024.

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About the Speaker

Maneesha Deckha is Professor and Lansdowne Chair in Law at the University of Victoria in British Columbia where she directs the Animals & Society Research Initiative. Her research expertise includes critical animal law, vegan ecofeminist theory, and postcolonial theory. She is author of “Animals as Legal Beings: Contesting Anthropocentric Legal Orders” and has directed an open access documentary series designed for high school and undergraduate screening called A Deeper Kindness: Youth Activism in Animal Law, available at and on YouTube: @ASRI-UVic. She is currently a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Zurich and a Senior Fellow at the Collegium Helveticum at ETH in Zurich.

About the Topic

It is commonly proposed by animal law advocates to replace the property classification for animals by legal personhood. In her talk, Maneesha Deckha will instead argue for a new transformative legal status or subjectivity: “beingness”. In developing a new legal subjectivity for animals oriented toward respecting animals for who they are rather than their proximity to idealized versions of humanness, the talk seeks to bring critical animal theorizations drawing from feminist animal care tradition, as well as feminist theories of embodiment and relationality, postcolonial theory, and critical animal studies, closer to animal law conversations. The talk will review the trajectory of arguments which are critical of the liberal legal view of animals, are invested in innovating a transgressive legal subjectivity for animals attentive to their embodied vulnerability and relationality, and desirous of occasioning an animal-friendly cultural shift in the core foundations of anthropocentric legal systems.

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