Diego Plaza is a Chilean legal professional who obtained his law degree from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. He pursued further studies in the field of environmental and sustainable development at the law school of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Subsequently, he traveled to Portland, where he successfully completed his LL.M. in Animal Law at Lewis & Clark. His exceptional academic achievements and leadership skills were recognized with honors, as well as the prestigious Cornelius Honor Society distinction.

Diego has actively collaborated with numerous prominent animal organizations, including Animal Libre (Chile) and Animal Law Reform South Africa. Moreover, he served as the Center for Animal Law Studies Ambassador for the 2021-2022 term, demonstrating his commitment to advancing the mission of the organization. Diego has also contributed his expertise as an associate member of the Animal & Biodiversity Think Tank Programme, affiliated with the esteemed Global Research Network. Furthermore, he has provided valuable insights and guidance as a consulting expert with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, further highlighting his extensive involvement in the field.

In 2019, Diego established the Center for Animal Law Studies CEDA Chile, and in 2021, he founded the Fundación Justicia Interespecie (Interspecies Justice Foundation in English). Presently, he holds the position of Executive Director at CEDA Chile, while concurrently serving as a Board Member of Justicia Intespecie, where he additionally oversees the fundraising division.

Diego has provided specialized opinions on upcoming bills, actively participated in various discussion forums addressing diverse animal issues and has been invited as a guest lecturer in animal law courses offered by Chilean, American, and European universities. Additionally, he is actively collaborating on various international animal projects.

In 2021, Diego was a key member of an international team, led by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, that achieved a groundbreaking milestone. The team successfully secured the recognition of a group of hippos as “interested persons” in a U.S. federal court proceeding, setting an important legal precedent.

Building upon this success, in 2022, Diego assumed the role of leading the strategic litigation team at the Interspecies Justice Foundation. Under his guidance, the team filed a historic habeas corpus petition on behalf of “Sandai,” a Bornean orangutan. This significant legal action marked the first-ever habeas corpus petition filed in Chile on behalf of a non-human animal.

In 2023, Diego, through CEDA Chile, achieved a significant publication milestone by releasing the collective work titled “Animal Studies Dossier No. 1: A Legal and Literary Reflection on the Animal Question” (“Dossier de Estudios Animales N°1: Una reflexión jurídica y literaria en torno a la cuestión animal” in Spanish). Diego served as the academic coordinator of this project, which brought together the insights and perspectives of 18 authors from various countries, including Chile, Mexico, Argentina, and Spain. The publication consisted of 50 physical copies that were distributed free of charge at esteemed locations such as the National Library of Chile and law school libraries across the country. Additionally, a digital version of the work was made available to the public at no cost.

Furthermore, in 2023, Diego made his debut as an author with his self-authored book titled “Liberty, Equality and Abolition: Paving the Way Towards an Animal Post-Abolitionism” (“Libertad, Igualdad y Abolición: Construyendo el Camino Hacia un Post-Abolicionismo Animal” in Spanish). This book presents Diego’s thought-provoking post-abolitionist views, which have garnered significant attention and interest both within Chile and internationally.

Diego’s current endeavors include serving as the academic coordinator for the second volume of the Animal Studies Dossier. Furthermore, he is actively collaborating with the Animal Law & Policy Program at Harvard Law School and the Max Planck Institute in the development of the forthcoming “Handbook on Global Animal Law.” This comprehensive publication is set to be released in the near future, further showcasing Diego’s involvement in advancing the field of animal law on a global scale.