How Elephants Shape the Law of Standing in Canadian and United States Courts

Earier this month the AJA blog had a posting entitled 

Reece v. Edmonton: What a 36-Year Old Elephant Teaches Us About Our Relationship to Animals—and to Government

There is nothing like an animal rights case to get everyone upset. There are those who passionately believe that many of our practices in zoos and elsewhere are barbaric. There are others who believe that we are actually quite humane in almost all zoos, giving children a chance to see animals that they would never have the opportunity to see and at the same time providing a safe environment for animals sometimes on the brink of extinction. The case of Reece v. Edmonton is in sense just a case about an elephant, but it was decided not on the merits but driven by an analysis of standing. 

Chief Justice Fraser’s well written dissent gives an analysis the Canadian view of standing, but she wrote that the case was not merely about civil procedure: “Lucy’s case raises serious issues not only about how society treats sentient animals…but also about the right of the people in a democracy to ensure that the government itself is not above the law.” .

Now the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has weighed in on the issue of standing again in the context of a case involving the treatment of elephants.$file/10-7007-1338482.pdf




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