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Symposium „Expanding Human Rights Protection to Non-Human Subjects? Animals, Nature, Corporations and Robots as (Potential) Human Rights Subjects“

9:30 -17:00 o'clock

Description: Human rights practice is at a crossroads when it comes to dealing with non-human subjects. The European Court of Human Rights grants human rights protection to corporations, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights indicated to recognise components of the environment (e.g. forests, rivers, and oceans) as subjects of protection, in line with ‘Rights of Nature’ approaches. The African system adopts an intermediate position. The fact that human rights protection is already, in part, open to non-human subjects gives rise to a ‘coherence demand’ for the inclusion of others, such as animals and AI. The non-human entities the symposium deals with are all related to global governance challenges, namely planetary environmental crises, the globalisation of production networks, and digitalisation.

The symposium will consider the different regional human rights approaches and critically analyse the potentials and risks of addressing these global challenges by granting human rights protection to non-human entities. Members of the three regional human rights courts, namely Justice Dennis Dominic Adjei, (African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights), Judge Verónica Gómez (Inter-American Court of Human Rights), and Judge Tim Eicke (European Court of Human Rights), will take part in the symposium and discuss with the speakers after the presentations.

The symposium can be attended online (register here) or in person. To participate in person, please register by email (, stating your name, institutional affiliation and field of work. Participation is free of charge.

FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, School of Business, Economics and Society WiSo
Findelgasse 9
90402 Nürnberg
Prof. Dr. Dr. Patricia Wiater, Lehrstuhl für Öffentliches Recht, Völkerrecht und Menschenrechte, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg
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