This article offers a contribution to the debate on rapid biodiversity loss. This loss is a problem for ecosystems and thus for the human race, and our legal system should be equipped to protect biodiversity. This article suggests a solution in the form of the attribution of limited legal personality to nonhuman species. The concept of legal personality has been altered many times throughout history to stay in line with prevalent ideas. By acknowledging nonhuman species as possessing limited legal personality, the concept will be altered once more to benefit both animals and ourselves. This change will have to come from bottom-up, through attribution by domestic courts. Domestic courts can be inspired by international biodiversity conventions while assessing domestic legislation. Animal welfare nongovernmental organizations are best equipped to appear as guardians of animal species, as animals are not able to defend their own rights in court. When the attribution is a general principle as recognized by civilized nations, it will become a source of international law.


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pp. 49-58
Launched on MUSE
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