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Quote:European Court agrees to hear chimp's plea for human rights

[Image: article-1020986-01542D2100000578-506_468x511.jpg]

His name is Matthew, he is 26 years old, and his supporters hope to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.

But he won't be able to give evidence on his own behalf - since he is a chimpanzee.
Animal rights activists led by British teacher Paula Stibbe are fighting to have Matthew legally declared a 'person' so she can be appointed as his guardian if the bankrupt animal sanctuary where he lives in Vienna is forced to close.

An anonymous businessman has offered a substantial amount to cover his care, but under Austrian law only humans are entitled to have guardians.

The country's supreme court has upheld a lower court ruling which rejected the activists' request to have a trustee appointed for Matthew.

So now 36-year-old Miss Stibbe and the Vienna-based Association Against Animal Factories have filed an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The insists that the chimp needs legal standing so a guardian can be appointed to look out for his interests - especially if the sanctuary shuts down.

Miss Stibbe, who is from Brighton but has lived in Vienna for several years, says she is not trying to get the chimp declared a human, just a person.

'Everybody who knows him personally will see him as a person,' she said.

'In his home in the African jungle, he would have been well able to look after himself without a guardian.

But since he was abducted into an alien environment, traumatised and locked up in an enclosure, it did become necessary for me to act on his behalf to secure the donation money for him and to avoid his deportation.

'Since he has no close relatives, I am doing this as the person closest to him.'

[Image: article-1020986-0153F0A700000578-727_468x381.jpg]

The legal wrangle began in February 2007, when the sanctuary where Matthew lives with another chimp, Rosi, plus a crocodile filed for bankruptcy protection.

Activists want to ensure the apes do not wind up homeless. Both were captured as babies in Sierra Leone in 1982 and smuggled to Austria for use in pharmaceutical experiments.

Customs officers intercepted the shipment and turned the chimps over to the shelter. Their upkeep costs £4,000 a month.

Donors have offered to help, but under Austrian law, only a human can receive personal gifts.

Organisers could set up a foundation to collect cash for Matthew, whose life expectancy in captivity is about 60 years.

But they argue that only personhood would ensure he is not sold to someone outside Austria, where he is protected by strict animal cruelty laws.

In dismissing the activists' request to get a guardian for Matthew, a lower court ruled that the chimp was neither mentally impaired nor in danger - the legal grounds required for a guardian to be appointed.

It did not directly address the issue of whether a chimpanzee can be considered a person.

Eberhart Theuer, the animal rights group's chief legal adviser, said there is a legal precedent to appoint a guardian for an individual incapable of expressing himself.

'As long as Matthew is not recognised as a person, he could be sold abroad or killed for economic reasons,' Theuer said.

'His life depends on this decision. This case is about the fundamental question: Who is the bearer of human rights? Who is a person according to the European Human Rights Charter?'

A spokesman for the court in Strasbourg said: 'Any application regarding this chimpanzee will be considered at a primary level by a magistrate and a lawyer before we decide whether it deserves a full-blown hearing.'

The Leftards in Europe have outdone themselves.
Apes are not hominids, and therefore not human. Being of the same 'family' is one thing, but still not the same. Only a crazy judge would rule in her favour.
The European judge will probably rule that the ape is a very hairy European who speakes with a very heavy accent.
JohnWho Wrote:The European judge will probably rule that the ape is a very hairy European who speakes with a very heavy accent.
Italian?
(Bad, I know.)
John L Wrote:Apes are not hominids, and therefore not human.

proclaiming an ape a hominid seems to be less of a stretch than proclaiming a homosexual binding a marriage..... :lol:

anyway, it is our duty to support the ape, there are very few deserving Europeans left...
You guys didn't read the part about wanting him declared a person and not a Human did you.

Let me explain. A "person" in the legal sense has rights. A company can be a "person". Is your company more entitled to rights than the chimp? This is where the argument starts... So that question is up for debate. The chimp cannot have any thing done on his behalf because transactions for and on his behalf are not possible since he has no rights and cannot be legally bound to anything or person, this creates a slew of problems legally.

You decide. The argument revolves around getting him sufficient rights so that they can take care of him. It does not revolve around making him a human. There is a significant difference although I will admit it is a legal one.
So he's granted human rights which establish a legal precedent thus flooding the courts with law suits by special rights groups trying to manipulate the system.
It's not about human rights it's about legal rights.

As just like company has legal rights because it is a legal person.

You are confusing the two terms.
It could make it murder to kill and eat an animal couldn't it,if they have these legal rights?
honestly, I don't see anything wrong with what that woman is doing.

Just as TheMan explained, she's not trying to get him regonized as an human.... just a "person" so that she can become his legal guardain to take care of him. Just like how one might do for a child. A non-human one, granted... but still a child. =p

And when you think about it.... alot of animals that are under care by humans are awfully a lot like children. You can't leave them on their own in the wild or anything...they would basically die, and then it'd be neligience. They need love and care, period.

And well... if you see that as some kind of "scam", you're free to do so. I would just have to wonder what the hell you do for any animals that might be under your care....
If the ruling was restricted to just her taking a guardian role,no one would object,but the slippery slope exists. I think it would end up eventually be utilized by the fanatical types(PETA or nutter vegetarians) there to place person rights to animals as relates to legal protections.
Palladin Wrote:If the ruling was restricted to just her taking a guardian role,no one would object,but the slippery slope exists. I think it would end up eventually be utilized by the fanatical types(PETA or nutter vegetarians) there to place person rights to animals as relates to legal protections.

I would basically hope that there's plenty of judges out there in the world who has common sense to recognize the fact that PETA just plain sucks and is crazy.

In this case it was perfectly fine.... but it'd be downright ridiculous to "recognize" a cow or the like as an person on a farm, etc.

I do believe in humane treatment for all animals. I believe that they should be given a good life and be killed painlessly as possible before we eat/use them, etc.
It's the least we can do for them, after all. It's our responsibility to take care of all animals that we "acquire" for various purposes.

But even I have my own limits when it comes to crazy PETA types.
mv Wrote:
John L Wrote:Apes are not hominids, and therefore not human.

proclaiming an ape a hominid seems to be less of a stretch than proclaiming a homosexual binding a marriage..... :lol:

Wow... could you get any more insulting? S7
I would never disagree that there is a slippery slope argument to be made here. The real difference is that in anglo american common law jurisdictions is you don't deal with the paragraph jungle that is continental civil law tradition.
Civil law is less flexible and sometimes weird needs arise. Certainly the aim of this woman is admirable in as much as it is limited to her taking care of the animal.

my guess is that there are financial and tax issues resulting of the expenses for taking care of the chimp. These issues can probably only (or most easily) be solved when the legal framework allows for her to enter contracts on behalf of the chimp. That is all speculation on my part but with good grounds.
The slippery slope thought is especially applicable in 2008. We're seeing the most bizarre demands anymore. In America,some Muslims demand public expenses to give them foot washing access,places to pray at ballgames,etc.

I won't get into it,but you're aware of my concerns.
If the ape needs sustenance, individual people should volunteer to provide the money. Society at large need not be required to provide the funds for sustenance. The law suit wants to compel society to be taxed to provide the funds. A slippery slope indeed.
I think what is happening here is that this lady receives donations for the care of the chimp but then the Tax authorities show up and deem that income. They have probably looked at a variety of different organizational forms and each requires more work or itself is a taxable entity (again more work and risk). Again this is speculation based on my tax and legal knowledge I don't know what the real reasons are.

A few years ago in Germany the debate was unfurled about the banning of Schaechten. It is the religious practice of slaughtering animals according to the semite religions (Islam and Judaism). This I found more disturbing because it involved Animals whose whole existence served but one purpose, to die at the will of the human that sustained its life and may have even caused its life. I honestly think that wild animals and animals kept as pets or in Zoos have a certain quality to them that animals created and raised for slaughter do not. Needless to say this argument fell on deaf ears here.
Good grief.

How about chuck this out of court? It's an animal, why are we equating ourselves with them? I don't care if it eats termites with a stick or knows how to beat blocks around, my dog figured out the store automatic doors and is a frequent guest at Wal-Mart, Target, and the hospital Rehab Center whenever he escapes (because the folks don't watch him like a hawk). I've watched him open it on his own. Is he human? No!

It's a dog, and while this one is smarter than most humans, he still is a dog and not subject to any rights under the Constitution. At the same time, it hasn't become my child substitute.

Why is this lady obsessed with it? Where are her kids, or a husband? This chimp probably is the child she never had. Indeed a sorry state of being in Europe.

This is a direct symptom of what's wrong in Europe - people for example, care more about animals than humans and human civilization.

I could care less about this - there are more important things in the world than extending human rights to chimps, toads and howler monkeys.

An example of who NOT to be if anything.
Pixiest Wrote:
mv Wrote:
John L Wrote:Apes are not hominids, and therefore not human.

proclaiming an ape a hominid seems to be less of a stretch than proclaiming a homosexual binding a marriage..... :lol:

Wow... could you get any more insulting? S7
Sorry, I cant see why you would call a Homosexual Binding a Marriage, It is in fact, Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve......
Gunnen4u Wrote:Good grief.

How about chuck this out of court? It's an animal, why are we equating ourselves with them? I don't care if it eats termites with a stick or knows how to beat blocks around, my dog figured out the store automatic doors and is a frequent guest at Wal-Mart, Target, and the hospital Rehab Center whenever he escapes (because the folks don't watch him like a hawk). I've watched him open it on his own. Is he human? No!

It's a dog, and while this one is smarter than most humans, he still is a dog and not subject to any rights under the Constitution. At the same time, it hasn't become my child substitute.

Why is this lady obsessed with it? Where are her kids, or a husband? This chimp probably is the child she never had. Indeed a sorry state of being in Europe.

This is a direct symptom of what's wrong in Europe - people for example, care more about animals than humans and human civilization.

I could care less about this - there are more important things in the world than extending human rights to chimps, toads and howler monkeys.

An example of who NOT to be if anything.

The man has a point. ^^^ A dog is a dog, a Human a Human, an Ape is an Ape, its not hard to think about. Why Europeans are caring more about Animal Rights than HUMAN rights, is beyond me, I guess we gotta go over there and fix everything again....../sigh

The thing is, why do are so many people in Europe in this sad state of mind, Its starting to brush off onto Americans, I see soem of this here....even in Rural Montana
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