NUI Galway Professor Presents Copy of New Book to President McAleese

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

President McAleese was recently presented with a copy of the first academic book on the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The book was co-edited by Professor Oddny Arnardottir of Reykjavik University in Iceland and Professor Gerard Quinn of the Centre for Disability Law & Policy at NUI Galway. NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne and the Chancellor of the National University of Ireland and President of the Human Rights Commission, Dr Maurice Manning, were also present at the event. Professor Quinn said he was most grateful to President McAleese who has shown so much interest in the lives of persons with disabilities here in Ireland and around the world. He commented: "The new book should provide guidance to persons with disabilities as well as to Governments about the rights and obligations contained in the new treaty. It contains many exceptional contributions from academics in Harvard Law School as well as from judges sitting on the European Court of Human Rights and the Danish High Court". Professor Arnardottir said she looked forward to future collaboration on international disability law projects with NUI Galway. She recently delivered a public lecture, hosted by the Centre for Disability Law & Policy at NUI Galway, on the concept of equality in the new convention. President Browne commented that the book was an example of the kind of work on lifecycle policy challenges in areas such as disability, ageing and children that NUI Galway will produce in the coming years. The new Convention is the first human rights treaty adopted by the United Nations in the 21st century. It seeks to secure the equal and effective enjoyment of human rights for the estimated 650 million persons with disabilities in the world. It does so by tailoring general human rights norms to their circumstances. It reflects and advances the shift away from welfare to rights in the context of disability. The Convention itself represents a mix between non-discrimination and other substantive human rights and gives practical effect to the idea that all human rights are indivisible and interdependent. The Centre for Disability Law & Policy was established at the NUI Galway School of Law in 2008. Its research agenda includes the modernisation of services for persons with disabilities in Ireland. It is networked internationally and produces a European Yearbook on Disability Law & Policy with Maastricht University (Netherlands). It is part of a Lifecycle Research Allaiance on campus.
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