David Favre, a law professor at Michigan State University, has proposed establishing a new legal tort, which he calls intentional interference with the primary interests of an individual chimpanzee. This new tort would require courts to balance the interests of a chimpanzee with the specific interests that a university, researcher, zoo, etc. has in that particular animal. According to Favre, if the weight and nature of the interests of the individual chimpanzee substantially outweighs the interest of the defendant (i.e., university, researcher, etc.), the chimpanzee would be entitled to money damages, injunctive relief, or both. Favre is hoping to find the right set of circumstances (a particularly egregious case of abuse) that will convince a state court to establish this new tort. If he is successful, the consequences would be that universities and individual researchers operating within states that adopt this new tort may have to justify the necessity of specific research projects involving chimpanzees in a court of law.David Favre presented his proposal for this new tort at a September 30, 2002 Harvard Law School symposium sponsored by the Chimpanzee Collaboratory’s Legal Committee. A transcript of the symposium proceedings was published in a 2003 edition of Animal Law, a student-run law review at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. 9 ANIMALL 1.

Read David Favre’s proposal
Download the entire transcript of the Symposium (pdf)