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Realising Disability Rights? Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in England - a critical analysis

Collingbourne, Tabitha (2012) Realising Disability Rights? Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in England - a critical analysis. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis is about understandings, how those understandings shape the law and how the law helps to shape those understandings. Its first premise is that law is not neutral: it is formed and functions within a complex and dynamic socio-political context from which it is inseparable. From that premise, the thesis argues that partial understanding of the context in which the law has been formed may result in mis- or partial understandings, and thus mis- or partial application, of the law itself. The argument is made through political discourse analysis of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and implementation in England of Article 19, the right to live independently and be included in the community. The CRPD is seen as emancipatory law, offering a re-description of the world and of disabled people’s place in it, and requiring for its full implementation transformative paradigm change. Whether the Convention-drafters’ hegemonic project succeeds will depend in part on the understandings already circulating in national settings. Turning to the United Kingdom, the thesis identifies resistance on the part of successive governments to international understandings of economic, social and cultural rights, and their consequent invisibility in domestic discourse, as potential barriers to realisation of the CRPD’s emancipatory purpose. The remainder of the thesis investigates the extent to which this mis-understanding currently affects implementation in England of CRPD Article 19. Independent living policy, legislation, decision-making and redress are examined for evidence of CRPD-compatible change. The thesis concludes that the exclusion of international economic, social and cultural rights standards from domestic discourse results in mis- and partial understandings, and thus in mis- or partial application, of Article 19. This in turn undermines implementation of the Convention as a whole, and frustrates its drafters’ purpose in the English domestic sphere.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; economic, social and cultural rights; independent living; political discourse analysis; emancipatory law
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.572358
Depositing User: Dr Tabitha Collingbourne
Date Deposited: 02 May 2013 09:52
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2016 14:12
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3904

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