Virtual Book Launch: Rights for Robots: Artificial Intelligence, Animal and Environmental Law

Please join us for the virtual launch of Josh Gellers‘ new book, Rights for Robots: Artifical Intelligence, Animal and Environmental Law, on Friday, 13 November 2020 from 10am-11am NY time. To attend, register in advance here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Attendees will be given a special code redeemable for 20% off the price of the hardback version of the book.

The book is now available for free via Open Access here.

Here is a synopsis of the book:

Two trends are set on a collision course—the creation of human-like robots and the movement to extend rights to nonhuman entities like animals and nature. In addition, humanity presently faces two existential crises—the rise of automation and the threat of global climate change. These macro-level trends lead to an important philosophical and legal question—can robots have rights? The book seeks to respond to this inquiry by drawing upon lessons from the theory and practice of animal rights and the rights of nature, and relying on insights provided by critical environmental law, New Materialism, Indigenous and other non-Western ontologies, and writings on law in the Anthropocene. Through the ensuing analysis I clarify the tangled relationship between moral and legal rights, develop a framework for assessing personhood(s), and advance a critical environmental ethic that specifies the universe of entities worthy of moral and legal concern. I demonstrate how the framework and ethic can be applied to two hypothetical situations involving real-world technology—zoomorphic robot companions and anthropomorphic sex robots. In closing, I suggest that if we wish to create a more inclusive, compassionate, and resilient world, robots can indeed have rights. 

Dina Lupin

By Dina Lupin

Dina Lupin is the Director of the GNHRE and a Lecturer at the School of Law at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdon. Dina is an affiliated researcher in the project “Giving groups a proper say”, supported by the Austrian Science Fund and hosted at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Vienna. Dina‘s current research is on silencing and epistemic injustice in the context of consultation processes with Indigenous peoples and her latest article on this subject can be found here. In 2020, Dina’s book, “Human Dignity and the Adjudication of Environmental Rights” was published with Edward Elgar Press.

Previously Dina worked as a Post-doctoral researcher at the Faculty of Law of the University of Tilburg researching civil society organisations working on sustainable development in Ethiopia. You can read more about the research project here.

Dina was awarded her PhD in 2017 by the Department of Public and International Law at the University of Oslo. Her PhD was on the concept of human dignity in the context of environmental law and governance.

Dina completed her BA and LLB at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and her Master of Laws, with honours, at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Dina previously worked as a Senior Attorney at the Centre for Environmental Rights ( in Cape Town. At the Centre, Dina represented a range of communities and activists in their battles for more transparent, accountable environmental and water management in the mining sector. She worked on the
legal aspects of acid mine drainage, hydraulic fracturing and was
instrumental in the facilitation of a community activist network in the field of mining and environmental justice. Dina also led the Centre’s work on improving transparency in environmental governance. As a result of her work at the Centre, Dina was included in the 2013 list of 200 Young South Africans published by the Mail and Guardian .

Dina has also worked in the Mining and Natural Resources team at Webber Wentzel, a South African law firm.