Topic: The paradigm shift facilitated by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and what it means for equality laws

Presenter: Dr Paul Harpur - Postdoctoral Research Fellow, TC Beirne School of Law

For most of history persons with disabilities have been targets of charity, medical interventions and excluded from education and work. In the 1980s particularly scholarship started to emerge that challenged the charity and medical model of disability. This new paradigm became known as the social model. This model argued that the cause of disablement is not caused by a medical state but by the way in which society constructs difference. 

The academic debate surrounding the appropriate model has shifted from theory to posited international law. The recently adopted United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has expressly adopted the social model and has articulated detailed provisions to reflect this paradigm shift. With 103 ratifications and 149 signatories, the CRPD and its paradigm shifting approach will transform the way in which state parties approach the regulation and policies concerning equality of persons with disabilities.

All welcome, no RSVP required.


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