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International Human Rights and Mental Disability LawWhen the Silenced are Heard$
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Michael L. Perlin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195393231

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195393231.001.0001

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The UN Convention: The Impact of the New UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on International Mental Disability Law

The UN Convention: The Impact of the New UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on International Mental Disability Law

Chapter:
(p.143) 7 The UN Convention: The Impact of the New UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on International Mental Disability Law
Source:
International Human Rights and Mental Disability Law
Author(s):

Michael L. Perlin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195393231.003.0015

The most significant development in the relationship between international human rights law and mental disability law has been the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The CRPD furthers the human rights approach to disability and recognizes the right of people with disabilities to equality in most aspects of life. It provides a framework for ensuring that mental health laws fully recognize the rights of those with mental illness. It categorically affirms the social model of disability, reconceptualizes mental health rights as disability rights, and extends existing human rights to take into account the specific rights experiences of persons with disabilities. Scholars characterize the Convention as a “moral compass” for social change, reflecting a “paradigm shift” in the way we think about and treat persons with disabilities, and a “beacon for an international consensus on justice and disability,” ushering in a “new era in human rights protection,” bringing “hope to the vulnerable,” and arguing that it illustrates “profound shifts both in the conception of human rights and the implementation of human rights in public policy domains.” This chapter discusses the most important provisions of the Convention. It looks at scholarly literature evaluating the impact that the CRPD might have locally as well as the still-meager case law that considers the CRPD. It briefly looks at some of the criticisms of the Convention, and concludes with some thoughts as to the most likely “pressure point areas” in which future developments will suggest the Convention’s ultimate impact on the population in question.

Keywords:   international human rights law, mental disability law, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, social model of disability

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