The Torkel Opsahl Memorial Lecture 2016: Towards Transformative Justice through the UN Disability Convention?

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities opens up for a fundamental ‘perspective shift’ in thinking about equality, diversity and human rights, beyond the rights of persons with disabilities. 

Professor Jenny Goldschmidt (photo: Lila Zotou).

The Torkel Opsahl Lecture 2016 will be held by professor Jenny Goldschmidt. She is the former director of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) and former president of the Dutch Equal Treatment Commission. 

She is currently active in the field of the rights of vulnerable groups, such as people with disabilities.

Shift in thinking on equality and diversity

Abstract from the lecture: 

The most recent UN human rights convention, the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has a potential that goes far beyond the rights of people with disabilities: it embodies a unique opportunity for a fundamental ‘perspective shift’ in thinking about equality, diversity and human rights.

The  conceptualisation of disability as an evolving concept, with attention for the fact that disability is a result of the interaction between persons with impairments and the attitudinal and environmental barriers in society, can be seen as the result of this shift.

The impact of feminist legal studies

Feminist legal studies, such as Tove Stang Dahl in Norway, have influenced the debate because they challenge the neutrality of norms and the power of the law, with special attention to the concept of equality as a tool. New concepts have been developed such as indirect discrimination and sexual harassment. The Women’s Convention (CEDAW) obligation of the State to combat stereotype cultural patterns related to dominance and subordination can also be seen as a result of feminist approaches.

Transformative Justice

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities proceeds in this direction, and implicitly or explicitly embodies the principles and concepts that constitute the pillars of this development towards transformative justice. These principles will be discussed, including the new dilemmas and their impact for other groups, such as sexual minorities and women.

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Emneord: Human Rights Law, Disability Studies, legal pluralism
Publisert 28. sep. 2016 21:00 - Sist endret 23. aug. 2019 12:46