May 31, 2022

ABA International Animal Law Speaker Series: The Estrellita Case and the Rights of Animals under the Rights of Nature


On January 27, 2022, the Constitutional Court of Ecuador granted judgment in case 253-20-JH, called “Rights of Nature and animals as subjects of rights” popularly known as the Estrellita case. The case generated high expectations as the Court selected it for the development of binding jurisprudence. Since its release, the case has received broad public attention due to its ruling. Many media outlets have announced that Ecuador is the first country where animals have legal rights. Given the importance of the Estrellita case, an analysis from an animal rights theory perspective is necessary. This panel will examine and discuss the rights of nature under the Ecuadorian Constitution and the Court´s recognition of the rights of animals as part of the rights of nature.


Macarena Montes Franceschini is an attorney and doctoral researcher at Universitat Pompeu Fabra’s Law Department. She has been a visiting researcher at Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg and a Rights Research Fellow at the Brooks McCormick Jr. Animal Law & Policy Program at Harvard Law School, where she will begin a visiting fellowship in 2023. She is also a board member of the UPF-Centre for Animal Ethics, editor of the journal Law, Ethics and Philosophy (LEAP), a member of the Editorial Committee of the Chilean Journal of Animal Law, and the treasurer of the Great Ape Project - Spain.

Marcia Condoy Truyenque is an Animal Law LLM Candidate '22 at Lewis & Clark Law School after receiving a full scholarship from the Center for Animal Law Studies. She is a Peruvian lawyer with work experience in Labor Law and Constitutional Law, and investigative experience in International Law, International Human Rights Law, and Animal Law. She directs the Animal Law area of Preston+ Law Firm, the first law firm in Peru with a specialized area in this matter, and she was the AFADA Argentina Organization's Peru correspondent.