News Archive

2016 Archive

December 2016 - Round table in the European Parliament: 'Community Living for Europe - Building on the Promise of European Structural and Investment Funds into the Future'

A roundtable, hosted by Mairead McGuinness, Vice President of the European Parliament and organised in partnership with the Community Living for Europe initiative looked at good practices, issues and challenges linked to the implementation of the ESIF regulations in the transition from institutional care to community based living. It was held in the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium on the 1st December 2016. It aimed to provide input on the need for improving practice under the existing regulations as well as how this underlying legislative framework might be improved in the future to underpin more effective outcomes.

Senior officials from the European Commission and the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, Members of the European Parliament and of the Community Living for Europe Steering Committee as well as representatives of other European and national civil society organisations participated in the round table.

The outcome report and key discussion points can be found via the Community Living for Europe website or else please download the PDF directly: Building on the Promise of ESIF into the future-1st December roundtable report o

 November 2016 - Professor Quinn Given Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award

The European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) held a 20th Anniversary celebration Gala Dinner at the European Parliament in October 2016. Alongside Ms. Marie-José Schmitt, who created the first Center for autistic children in the south of France, the EASPD honoured Professor Gerard Quinn for his work in field of disability for over 30 years and his contribution to the developments that have led to a shift towards the social model which focuses on the personhood and autonomy of persons with disabilities as well as their inclusion in the community. Full information can be found on the EASPD website.

October 2016 - Upcoming Seminar: 'The Freedom to Choose: Contracts, Capacity & the Law'

A seminar on freedom to choose where and with whom to live, decisions about travel and financial decisions as part of the VOICES project based at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway takes place on 18th November 201. The seminar will look at capacity to contract in many areas of life for people with disabilities (including people with dementia and mental health experience) such tenancy agreements, buying a home, contracts for services and financial agreements. It will examine how with the right support, people can make legally binding contracts that respect their will and preferences, while providing security for third parties who enter into contracts with people using this kind of support. The seminar should be of interest to students, researchers, people with disabilities, people with experience of the mental health system, family members, and practitioners in the fields of law, health and social care.

Confirmed speakers include: Mr Alex Ruck Keene, Dr. Lyn Tjon Soei Len, Mr Rusi Stanev, Ms Helen Rochford Brennan. If you have any accessibility requirements please contact Clíona at ercvoices@nuigalway.ie. Visit https://ercvoices.com/ for more information.

October 2016 - Martin Naughton, RIP

Martin Naughton

The staff and students of the CDLP are profoundly grieved by the passing of Martin Naughton – one of the pioneers of the disability rights movement in Ireland and Europe. He was a perfect gentleman with a strong sense of people and place. He left a huge imprint on the evolution of the disability rights community both in Ireland and in Europe. In particular, the Irish and European independent living movements owe him a huge debt of gratitude. We were extremely proud to appoint him an honorary professor at the University where his wisdom was shared so generously with staff and students. He regularly chaired sessions at our International Summer School – most recently with Senator Tom Harkin and Assistant Secretary of State Judy Heuman. He never lost his love for his native Connemara and the Irish language. We will miss him terribly and will seek to honour his memory by trying to carry on his life’s work as best we can.

Prof Gerard Quinn, Director.

August  2016 - Peter Lambreghts, RIP

The Centre for Disability Law and Policy is deeply saddened by the news that Peter Lambreghts, Senior Officer of the European Network on Independent Living, has passed away.

Peter was also co-chair of the European Expert Group on Deinsitutionalisation and worked closely with us in his capacity to build more inclusive societies. We admired Peter's energy and commitment to fight for the rights of persons with disabilities and to help them live in dignity in the community. Peter will be greatly missed by the entire European disability movement and our thoughts are with his family in these difficult moments.

Inspired by Peter's legacy, we will continue our work to close down all institutions across Europe and make independent living possible for all persons with disabilities. May he rest in peace.

Prof Gerard Quinn, Director.

June 2016 - UN CRPD Council of States Parties to the Convention NHRI Side Event

The video above is a side event at CRPD Council of States Parties discussing National Human Rights Institutions and Implementing the Convention on 14 June 2016. The event was organised and co-hosted by the Asia-Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF) and the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) and sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Australia, Germany, Ireland, Mongolia, Morocco and New Zealand. It features a discussion of NHRIs as a key part of the national and international monitoring with civil society. Professor Gerard Quinn speaks in his capacity as an independent expert at the 50min mark.

May 2016 - Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission launches CDLP report on CRPD

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Catalina Devandas Aguilar, launched a report, 'Article 33: Establishing a Monitoring Framework for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities', on 9 May 2016. This evaluation report by Dr Eilionóir Flynn and Meredith Raley of the CDLP was commissioned by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

The report focuses on the role of the independent monitoring mechanism in Article 33, which will oversee the implementation process. The report provides a variety of suggestions and examples of good practice, which will be useful as Ireland prepares to ratify the CRPD. The monitoring mechanism in the CRPD is a unique innovation among human rights treaties, which makes its correct implementation both a challenge and extremely worthwhile. The full report can be downloaded as a PDF here - Building on the Promise of ESIF into the future-1st December roundtable report oand in a machine readable version: CRPD Machine readable Word version for Web

April 2016 - Follow the Money: Financing Independent Living in the Community

A CRPD Committee 15th Session side event, 'Follow the Money: Financing Independent Living in the Community'' took place in Room XXII, Palais des Nations, Geneva on 19 April. Organised by the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre (MDAC), Inclusion International and the CDLP, this this event which drew on the combined knowledge and expertise of advocacy organisations working internationally on the rights of persons with disabilities. It discussed questions such as 'How can personal independence payments contribute to a successful deinstitutionalisation plan?' and ' What are the legal implications of Article 19 for national budgets? How can international cooperation contribute to independent living in the community – and what happens when it goes wrong?'

Speakers included:

  • Connie Laurin-Bowie, Executive Director, Inclusion International. “Deinstitutionalisation and gaining independence”
  • Gerard Quinn, Professor of Law and Director of CDLP. “Putting your money where your mouth is – the legal obligations in Article 19”
  • Emily Loughlin, PhD candidate at CDLP. “Independence for older persons”
  • Kelley Johnson, Professor of Disability, Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales. “The personalisation of financial and other supports – recent innovations from Australia”
  • Oliver Lewis, Executive Director, MDAC. “International cooperation: The case of EU Structural Funds”

March 2016 - Eminent Visiting Professors from the US and Australia (March-May)

Kelley Johnson Michael Waterstone

This March saw the return of two eminent academics and friends of the CDLP for extended stays. Professor Kelley Johnson, Centre for Social Policy, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, is Visiting Professor at the CDLP until May. Professor Johnson has had a continuing interest in deinstitutionalisation, the barriers and facilitators to people with disabilities living good lives in the community, sexuality and relationships, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability. She has been joined at the CDLP for four weeks by Professor Michael Waterstone, Loyola Law School (LA, USA) visiting as a Fulbright Specialist to initiate a deeper exchange of research and ideas about how to successfully pursue a strategy of deinstitutionalization and community living for persons with disabilities on both sides of the Atlantic.

Together they gave a seminar “Community Living Policy Innovations in the United States & Australia” in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society on Tuesday March 15th 2016 at which they spoke about the new US Federal Agency for Community Living (which combines Federal monies to assist States to transition from institutions into community living arrangements for both older people and people with disabilities) and the new National Disability Insurance Scheme in Australia (NDIS) which seeks to personalise services to make community living a reality for persons with disabilities. View the video of the event here.

March 2016 - International Fellows Continue to Alight in Galway

Dr Paul Harpur seminar

The Centre has enjoyed several visits from international fellows already this year. During their stays: Dr Paul Harpur, TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland held a seminar on :"Paradigm Shifts in Approaches to Reading Equality: The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and WIPO’s Marrakesh Treaty” (above) and Dr Nancy E. Hansen, Director, Interdisciplinary Master's Program, Disability Studies, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada spoke on "Post-conflict experience of disabled people rebuilding for inclusion in policy or infrastructure.” (photo below).

Dr Nancy E. Hansen visit

We look forward to continued visits this semester from luminaries including: Professor Michael Waterstone, Loyola Law School (LA, USA) on a Fulbright Specialist exchange and Professor Kelley Johnson, Centre for Social Policy, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, as Visiting Professor to CDLP.

February 2016 - Community Living for All – EU Structural Funds Watch

In partnership with Lumos the CDLP are excited to announce a new project monitoring the use of the European Structural and Investment Funds to ensure community living for all.

The project will conduct research and support advocacy focused on the positive potential of the Funds in preventing institutionalisation. Its research will also focus on the ways in which EU Member States can transition away from institutional care to community-based living and services.

The project will be guided by a Steering Committee comprised of organisations active in advocating for a change in the EU Regulations governing the Funds. This group will hold its first meeting on Tuesday the 16th of February in Brussels and looks forward to launching its website and sharing its work widely in the coming year.

February 2016 - "Election 2016: A New Government – A New Disability Reform Agenda" Reflections from the Centre for Disability Law & Policy at NUI Galway (9 February, 2016)

The hard-won economic recovery is now well underway. The Government deserves credit for this. But we now need a social recovery to match it – one based on the equal citizenship as well as productive capacity of persons with disabilities. All political parties need to address these reform challenges and show the voters they mean it. Otherwise they cannot claim the support of citizens with disabilities who have had to put up with a lack of innovation, bad services and low expectations. We – at the Centre for Disability Law & Policy at NUI Galway – contend that those who contend for high office have to provide convincing plans to meet the following challenges.

First of all, our service model needs a drastic overhaul. It is still premised on a medical model of allocating resources to meet specific needs. These needs are important. But they should be put alongside the higher importance of enabling people to get a life and live independently and in the community. When the present Government came into office it promised a radical shake-up of the way the public service functions. Nothing of the sort has happened. We are left with the same unfit-for-purpose service model – the only difference being that it now has a static or shrunken budget. The stated goal of successive Governments has been in favour of the personalization of supports with budgets devolved to the person (and freedom to shop beyond traditional service providers). While we pour money in to an old and discredited model the world has moved on. Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme is particularly impressive. Some services are innovating. But isolated pockets of excellence simply aggravate people’s frustration. Someone, somewhere in public office has to grasp the public interest and enforce it throughout the country. All parties should declare now their intention to forcefully re-engineer our existing service model and transform it to meet best international practice.

Secondly, the endemic poverty of persons with disabilities has to be tackled. Everyone knows that employment is a key to independence as well as social integration. The recently announced Employment Strategy is a good start. But we also know that employment for many people with disabilities will not necessarily generate the resources needed to get a life. And our social welfare system on its own will not do. It needs to be complemented by positive wealth accumulation strategies particularly in favour of persons with disabilities and especially those with intellectual disabilities. There is a lot of fiscal innovation throughout the world now which enables trust and other funds to grow in favour of persons with disabilities without impacting their social entitlements (e.g., Canada). Often this requires Government to incentivize third parties to invest (with appropriate tax breaks). There is no reason why the Department of Finance cannot innovate beyond the well-known limits of our social welfare model. There is no reason why we cannot break beyond the assumption that people with disabilities will either remain resource-poor or dependent on social welfare (more or less the same thing). Our political parties need to commit to innovative with new fiscal models to grow the assets of persons with disabilities to ensure they have choices and do not fall into steep poverty traps.

Thirdly, any new Government needs to accelerate the implementation of the long-standing plan to end institutionalization. The main scandal about Aras Attracta was that it still exists. Its continued existence is not merely an affront to the right to live in the community but is also against longstanding Government policy (“Ending Congregated Settings”, HSE, 2011). It is time to get serious about community living which means connecting housing strategy with services and support strategy. It means, for example, getting beyond a reactionary or response–led service model that cannot plan for inevitable lifecourse events. What is the point in being allocated housing if one doesn’t have the support to take advantage of it? No one can rationally plan their lives if they cannot predict how the system will respond in advance. And carers have a right to live independently too instead if being used as a permanent form of support regardless of the opportunity costs to them – and to the larger economy.

This Government managed to turn around a backward looking Bill it inherited from the last Government on mental capacity. Minister Kathleen Lynch deserves the lion’s share of credit for converting this Bill into Europe’s first Assisted Decision-Making Act (December 2015). The Act is far from perfect but at least we now have something to build on. This Act has yet to be commenced. This has to be a priority of the incoming Government. And even when commenced it will remain symbolic unless people are also enabled to get their own lives. That is another reason why action on closing own institutions is long over-due.

The next Government could start by ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Rather shamefully, we are among only a handful of countries that have not ratified. We have to ratify with an attitude that we can contribute to positive strategies for change throughout the world – and not just defend ourselves every four years before the UN. The imagination shown by this Government to produce landmark legislation on Assisted Decision-Making shows what is possible. The next Government has to show similar imagination in changing our service model, tackling poverty through innovation and ensuring community living for all. Indeed, strong legislation on the right to live in the community would be an ambitious but also an achievable goal.

Otherwise, given the Poor Law mentality behind so much of our model, one is left wondering what 1916 was all about and whether it was worth it.

Professor Gerard Quinn, Director
Professor Martin Naughton, Adjunct Chair
Dr Eilionoir Flynn, Assistant Director

February 2016 - Upcoming Research Seminar & Reception

Winner of the CDLP Gold Medal for Excellence 2016, Milika Sakala will be speaking on “The Potential of the African Disability Protocol as an Instrument to Advance Disability Rights in Africa” at 11am, Friday 10 February in the CDLP Boardroom, ILAS Building, followed by a reception at 12.15pm. All are welcome!

February 2016 - Research Associate / Postdoctoral Researcher – ERC VOICES

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a full-time fixed term position as a Research Associate / Postdoctoral Researcher with the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the National University of Ireland, Galway. This position is funded by the European Research Council and the Centre for Disability Law & Policy at the National University of Ireland Galway. It is available from March 2017 to contract end date of 30th November 2018. Closing date for receipt of applications is 3.00 pm on Friday, 3rd March 2017.

January 2016 - Developing Disability Rights in China: From Paper to Practice? Conference

A conference entitled 'Developing Disability Rights in China: From Paper to Practice?' took place on Friday, 15 January 2016 at the University of Leeds. This event was organised jointly by the Centre of Disability Law & Policy and the Centre for Disability Studies, University of Leeds, UK (CDS) and China Vision, UK. Please also consult the programme outline: Developing Disability Rights in China - Conference Outline

The event sought to raise awareness of current initiatives and challenges experienced by disabled people and their organisations and advocates in China and to generate opportunities for on-going collaboration and exchange – eg in relation to research, learning and teaching, and advocacy and activism.

China Conference 1  China Conference 2  China Conference 3

Photos above, left to right: 1) Mr Zhijun Fu (LLM student at CDLP) speaking at China Disability Law Conference in Leeds; 2) Panel discussion including Mr Stephen Hallet (3rd from right) of China Vision and 3) Mr Zhijun Fu (left) and Mr Chen Bo (right) (LLM & PhD students at CDLP).

January 2016 - EU PERSON Project’s Submission to the Council of Europe’s Oviedo Bioethical Convention

The CDLP, working with our partners on the PERSON project, submitted this detailed analysis - EU PERSON Project’s Submission to the Council of Europe’s Oviedo Bioethical Conv- on the proposed changes to the Council of Europe's Oviedo Bioethical convention. The call for submission related to proposed additional protocols on involuntary detention and treatment of people in psychiatric services. We point out where it fails to meet the standard of mental health care we can expect once services respect the Convention of the Rights of Person's with Disabilities.

2015 Archive

December 2015 - Quinn delivers talk on ‘From Civil Death to Civil Life - Perspectives on Supported Decision-Making for Persons with Disabilities’ in Tbilisi State University, Georgia

GQ in Tbilisi

Prof Gerard Quinn gave a talk on ‘From Civil Death to Civil Life - Perspectives on Supported Decision-Making for Persons with Disabilities' in Tbilisi State University,Georgia on 20 December, 2015. The full paper can be downloaded here: From Civil Death to Civil Life - Perspectives on Supported Decision-Making

December 2015 - Quinn preps a Moot Court Team in Batumi, Georgia

GQ Moot Court

October 2015 - Quinn delivers keynote at Irish Disability Studies Associations, UCD Dublin, on the process of change in Ireland

On Friday last, October 9th 2015, the Irish Disability Studies Association (IDSA), the Centre for Disability Law and Policy (CDLP) and the UCD Centre for Disability Studies at University College Dublin hosted a half-day research seminar showcasing some highly innovative research currently being undertaken in Ireland. The event was held at University College Dublin and attracted more than eighty participants.

Professor Quinn commenced the seminar with a keynote address entitled 'All Power to the People – Why Change on Disability Policy is so Slow in Ireland'. Prof. Quinns speech addressed the relationship between ideas, knowledge and research with the process of change. Martin Naughton from the Disability Federation of Ireland responded to Prof. Quinn's keynote address, which can be read here: Keynote at Irish Disability Studies Associations.

September 2015 - Centre for Disability Law and Policy leads call to Irish Government to amend new capacity legislation relating to provisions on decision-making ability of people with disabilities

You can download the full press release in PDF (Human Rights Concerns for Capacity Law Bill) or Word (Human Rights Concerns for Capacity Law Bill) versions.

September 2015 - Disability Rights Scholarship Program

The Disability Rights Scholarship Program provides awards for master’s degree study to disability rights advocates, lawyers, and educators to develop new legislation, jurisprudence, policy, research, and scholarship to harness the innovations and opportunities offered by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Find out more on their website.

August 2015 - Quinn delivers keynote at the Queensland Council on Social Services (QCOSS) on a Bill of Rights for Queensland

Supported by QCOSS, Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland, the Queensland Public Advocate, Queenslanders with Disability Network, and Griffith University, a day long workshop on 'Marginalised Queenslanders influencing public policy workshop' provided a valuable insight into how marginalised Queenslanders can influence public policy from a number of different perspectives. The day began with a keynote address by Professor Gerard Quinn. Professor Quinn's talk about restoring the Human in human rights and how marginalised populations can influence public policy is available here: Keynote at the Queensland Council on Social Services

August 2015 - Supported Decision Making Debate (University of New South Wales, Australia)

Professor Gerard Quinn and Centre alumni Dr Anna Arstein-Kerslake took part in a lively debate debate on Supported Decision Making in Sydney this week. The debate was hosted by the social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, at which Prof Quinn is a visiting professor. Listen back here: https://www.sprc.unsw.edu.au/event/sprc-social-policy-debate-supported-decision-making/

August 2015 - Professor Quinn Down Under

Professor Gerard Quinn was invited on Australian radio to discuss independent decision making with long-time Centre associate Professor Rosemary Kayess, University of New South Wales Sydney, Australia. Listen back here: http://www.2ser.com/component/k2/item/17249-decisions-of-the-disabled

August 2015 - UN Special Rapporteur among Adjunct Appointment

The new UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Ms Catalina Devandas, is among three new adjunct appointees to the Centre. Since taking office in December 2014, Ms Devandas has engaged the Centre as a key institutional support in carrying out her mandate as Rapporteur. The formal appointment of Ms Devandas as Adjunct Professor at the Centre underlines this collaboration.

Also appointed as Adjunct Professors to the Centre have been Mr Martin Naughton and Ms Gráinne McMorrow SC.

Mr Naughton is one of Europe’s leading figures in the campaign to secure community living for the estimated 1.3 million European with disabilities who still live in institutions. He is executive co-chair of the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL). Ms McMorrow is Ireland’s representative on the prestigious Council of Europe’s European Council’s Venice Commission and is among Europe’s top jurists who advise world governments on how to enshrine the rule of law into their legal systems and constitutions. She is a senior member of the Irish Bar.

July 2015 - Universal Periodic Review Consultations

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), in partnership with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC), as Ireland’s national human rights institution, is hosting a series of human rights consultations around Ireland. This is an opportunity for you to have your voice heard and share information about human rights issues on the ground in Ireland. Your voice can help to influence the outcome of the UPR. Read more (PDF flyer - Universal Periodic Review Consultations) and join us at one of our consultations:

When: July 16th, 14:30-16:30
Where: ILAS Building
What: For more information about the Universal Periodic Review visit: http://www.rightsnow.ie/

June 2015 - Civil society organisations comment as Assisted Decision-Making Bill passes Committee Stage

The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill entered committee stage yesterday (Thursday, 18 June, 2015) and came one step closer to becoming law. Over four hundred proposed amendments were motioned and debated by the Select Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality. A number of civil society organisations in Ireland felt that the Select Committee could have gone further to more fully secure the rights of older citizens and those with disabilities.

Professor Gerard Quinn, Director at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy (CDLP) at NUI Galway, stated that: “Our Centre has joined with a coalition of over 15 organisations representing people with disabilities and their families, older persons, mental health service users, and health professionals, to contribute to the development of the Bill. The coalition is pleased with the strong public consultation of the Department of Justice and Equality in the development of the Bill. But we remain concerned that the Department may have missed an opportunity to fully harmonise the Bill with current human rights standards.”

Sarah Lennon from Inclusion Ireland stated that: “We are pleased overall with the commitment of the Department of Justice and the Justice committee to making this law responsive to the needs of Irish citizens. The sheer number of amendments reflected the extensive consultation with civil society organisations representing experts through experience in the development of the Bill. We want to continue working with the Department to create robust mechanisms truly harmonise the Bill with international human rights  standards.”

Dr Eilionóir Flynn, the Deputy Director of the CDLP stated that: ’The repeal of the “wards of court” system has been a long time coming. The Ministry for Justice has rightly consigned the 1871 Lunacy Regulation Act to the dustbin of history. But there is a risk that residues of the old-style paternalism have remained. In particular, the Bill places too much emphasis on a person’s mental capacity. We don’t want a situation where people with disabilities and older persons are forced to get a mental capacity assessment to enter into support agreements under the Bill. Under the Bill a person will be ineligible to appoint an assistant for a decision if the person is seen to lack mental capacity. Yet the whole point of the Bill was to provide support arrangements precisely for people who would otherwise fail outdated and discriminatory mental capacity assessments. This shift is required under international human rights law. The UN Committee on the rights of Persons with Disabilities has been clear: mental capacity assessments must go.”

Jim Walsh, of the Irish Advocacy Network, expressed concern that: “Assessing capacity will become the focus rather than understanding and facilitating individual support needs. Statutory bodies concerned with training care staff, we fear, will focus on how to question someone’s capacity rather than helping staff to address social support needs and support a person’s decision making.”

Some mental health advocates are also concerned that the new advanced healthcare directives will be useful for physical health problems but will apply unequally to mental health service users. Fiona Walsh of Tallaght Trialogue commented that: “Physical health and mental health issues must be given equal respect. Under the current Bill, not even a government minister could make an Advance Healthcare Directive which would be respected in the event of a mental health crises that leads to involuntary treatment under mental health law.”

Another area of concern related to informal decision-making powers. The term 'informal decision-maker' was removed in yesterday’s committee stage. However, advocates remain concerned that some of the troubling aspects of the provisions remain in place.

Tina Leonard, Head of Advocacy and Public Affairs at The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, said: “The Minister for Justice rightly removed some of the excessive power inadvertently granted to informal supporters of people who believed that the person they were supporting lacked mental capacity. That provision would have allowed, for example, an older person to be placed in a home against their wishes simply because their adult child 'believed that the person lacked mental capacity'. Instead, we need to secure people’s dignity to take risks. But although the language has changed after the Minister’s recent amendments, we are concerned that some of these 'informal powers' remain in place. It is not enough to simply remove the term 'informal decision–maker' if the excessive powers remain the same.”

Professor Quinn concluded: “All of us are shaped by the balance of protection and autonomy in law. The legal requirement to wear seatbelts is an example showing where autonomy ends and public protection begins. But the current Bill seems to say that for people with disabilities and older people, different rules apply in striking that balance. We need to move beyond 'special laws' for people with disabilities, just as we’re moving away from 'special schools' and 'special day programs'. True integration requires a commitment to equality.”

May 2015 - CDLP host coffee morning in aid of the disabled victims of the Nepal earthquake

Coffee Morning

The Centre for Disability Law and Policy has hosted many master's students from Nepal over recent years with support of the Soros Opens Society Foundation. They all live in Nepal and have survived. Most of them work with disability organisations and report severe difficulties for people with disabilities in the aftermath of the recent earthquake. The monies raised by this coffee morning will go directly to the disability groups they work with in order to show solidarity and alleviate at least some of the worst effects of the quake. Of especial importance now is to make sure the voice of people with disabilities is listened to as Nepal struggles to re-build a more inclusive society and economy.

April 2015 - EU Access to Justice - Ireland Country Report launch

The Centre will launch a Country Report on Ireland as part of an EU-funded project on Access to Justice for Children with Mental Disabilities, in Dublin on 23 April 2015. See this flyer ( PDF - EU Access to Justice Flyer / Word - EU Access to Justice Flyer) for further details. You can also download the report in PDF - EU Access to Justice Report - and Word versions  - EU Access to Justice Report.

April 2015 - Campaign to Act

PERSON

The Centre, as co-ordinator of the EU PERSON project, has launched a campaign to push governments, private entities and individuals to implement Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It’s time to act. Go to our campaign website www.righttoactcampaign.com

March 2015 - CDLP leads coalition of NGOs to call for urgent reform of Irish legal capacity law

Today, on the eighth anniversary of Ireland's signature of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the CDLP, in conjunction with 17 NGOs in the fields of disability, mental health and ageing, call on the Irish government to repeal the Regulation of Lunacy (Ireland) Act 1871 and immediately bring the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013 to Committee stage in the Dail. See this press release for further information: Call for urgent reform of Irish legal capacity law

March 2015 - Article: 'Ireland must ratify UN Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities'

Meredith Raley, a PhD candidate at the CDLP, co-authored a piece with Gary Lee from the Centre for Independent Living on the need for Ireland to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in today's (30 March 2015) Irish Times.

March 2015 - Likando Kalaluka appointed as Attorney General of Zambia

Likando Kalaluka

Likando Kalaluka, a graduate of the first ever class of the LLM in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy in 2012, has been appointed as the Attorney General of Zambia. Pictured above are Mr. Likando Kalaluka (right), being sworn in as Attorney General of Zambia by Republican President of Zambia, Mr. Edgar Lungu.

February 2015 - CDLP success in Irish Research Council 'New Foundations' Awards Scheme

IRC Logo

The research team at the CDLP have successfully obtained a grant to host a series of events to explore the options of piloting a Community Café that employs people with disabilities for the new ILAS ( Institute for Lifecourse and Society) building at NUI Galway.

In 2014, the Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS) opened. The building is intended as a community space and has the capacity to feature a café that caters for staff, students and visitors.

The aim of this project is to work with community partner, EmployAblity Galway, to organize a series of events. During these, students, staff and community partners will engage and together explore options to initiate the setting up of a café that employs and is run by people with disabilities. The focus will be on social innovation and how to set up a social enterprise.

2014 Archive

December 2014 - Major ERC funding success for Dr. Eilionóir Flynn and CDLP

Dr. Eilionóir Flynn has been approved by the European Research Council (ERC) almost €1m in funding for her groundbreaking VOICES project. VOICES aims to make visible the experiences of people with disabilities who have been denied legal capacity.

Dr Flynn is the youngest of the ERC Starter grantees this year and amongst nine in Ireland to win a total of €11m in funding under these prestigious awards. Her award of almost €1m in funding for the ground-breaking VOICES project will run for three and a half years.

The VOICES project aims to make visible the experiences of people with disabilities who have been denied legal capacity. It will involve a series of workshops where people with this lived experience will be paired with social and legal scholars to develop their narratives, and construct critical responses to these narratives, for inclusion in an edited collection at the end of the project. Particular themes to be addressed include criminal responsibility, consent, and contract law.

Dr Flynn said "The VOICES project will take a radical approach to develop new law reform ideas based on the concept of “universal legal capacity”, a basic human freedom to make one’s own decisions and have them respected by law. People with disabilities will be supported in this project by legal and social science scholars to develop personal narratives about their experiences in exercising, or being denied, legal capacity. This is important because many people with disabilities, especially people with intellectual, psycho-social and other cognitive disabilities, have been denied this fundamental right – informally, in the private sphere, and formally, in the public sphere through states’ laws and policies."

December 2014 - CDLP Director honoured in US with Senator Harkin

USICD GQ and Senator Harkin_tn

Professor Gerard Quinn was honoured alongside Senator Tom Harkin by the United States International Council on Disabilities in recognition of his work in the field of international and comparative disability law and policy. The ceremony took place in Washington on the eve of the international day of people with disabilities, December 2nd 2014. Download Professor’s Quinn’s speech here: CDLP Director speech For more info: http://www.usicd.org/template/index.cfm

Caption: Back row: US Senator Tom Harkin with Professor Ger Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy.
Front row: Marca Bristo, former chair of the US National Council on Disability and outgoing chair of the US International Council on Disability; Her Excellency Anne Anderson, Ambassador of Ireland to the US

December 2014 - Launch of groundbreaking book on Genetic Discrimination

Genetic Discrimination book_tn

MEP Marian Harkin and members of the judiciary, as well as leading figures from the areas of disability and genetics joined on Friday night, 12th December, at the European Commission Representation to celebrate the launch of Genetic Discrimination – Transatlantic perspectives on the case for a European-level legal response. The book is edited by Professor Gerard Quinn, CDLP alumna Dr Aisling de Paor (DCU) and Professor Peter Blanck (Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University, USA) and focuses particularly on the legislative and policy framework in the European Union emphasising gaps in protection and the scope for specific legislative action in the area of genetic discrimination. Download Professor’s Quinn’s speech here: Launch of genetic discrimination book

December 2014 - CDLP First Official Engagement for the New Special Rapporteur on Disability

Catalina Devandas_tn

Catalina Devandas with staff and students of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy

November 2014 - Orientation Day at the new Institute for Lifecourse and Society

Lifecourse_Opening_tn

Staff and students of the new Institute for Lifecourse and Society gathered for an orientation day at its newly opened building in the north campus in November 2014. The formal launch of the Institute building will take place in early 2015.

November 2014 - Leading Chinese disability advocate Xie Bin visits the Centre for a seminar and meeting with staff and students

Xie Bin

Leading Chinese disability advocate Xie Bin with CDLP staff and students

July 2014 - NUI Galway Women's Global Studies Program Conference

Mary Robinson

The Centre’s Jenni Kline and Áine Sperrin with former President of Ireland Dr Mary Robinson at the NUI Galway Women's Global Studies Program's conference on Women's Leadership, Peace, and Sustainable Livelihoods in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region. Jenni and Áine presented a paper "Inclusive Response, Reconciliation and Rebuilding-the potential impact of the CRPD on women in the DRC”.

June 2014 - DREAM Conference

DREAM Conference

The final conference of the EU Marie Curie Disability Rights Expanding Accessible Markets (DREAM) project took place in June 2014. Minister Kathleen Lynch opened the event and EU Research Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and US Senator Tom Harkin presented via video link. The conference marks the final stage of this €3.7m project. Photographs of the event can be found on Flickr.

June 2014 - Quinn features in EU Marie Curie promo

As Principal Investigator for the CDLP DREAM network, Professor Quinn features in this video above by the Irish University Association aimed at publicising Marie Curie actions.

May 2014 - CDLP welcomes EU Ombudsman Move to Investigate EU Structural Funds

The CDLP greatly welcomes the initiative by the EU Ombudsman to investigate the use of the EU Structural Funds for its compliance with human rights standards including the EU Charter for Fundamental Rights.  The CDLP together with many others including LUMOS, the EDF and Age Platform Europe, have done much to highlight current deficiencies and future possibilities of the Funds to transition people from institutions into appropriate community living arrangements.   The Director of the Centre, Professor Gerard Quinn said: “as taxpayers we have a right to demand that our monies are being spent in a way that maximizes community living for all.  That after all, is the very best possible use of Structural Funds.  We hope the investigation shows how the Funds can better be used in the future to avoid and close institutions and create a better social Europe for all.

Link to announcement of the EU Ombudsman:  http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/press/release.faces/en/54420/html.bookmark

May 2014 - National Platform of Self Advocates

National Platform of Self Advocates

On 29 May 2014 the National Platform of Self Advocates hosted its first national conference in Croke Park, Dublin. Senator Katherine Zappone opened the conference which was attended by over 120 self advocates.

The keynote speech was delivered by a representative from People First Scotland. They explained how they set up more than 20 years ago. After presentations from the Interim Steering Committee Members on the Platform's history and on the group's draft Vision Statement, elections to the new Committee were held.

Pictured above are the new committee elected for 3 years.

May 2014 - CDLP PhD Student Wins Major International Prize

The Centre for Disability Law & Policy at the National University of Ireland (Galway) congratulates Magdi Birtha on becoming he first ever recipient of the international Carla Vlaskamp early career award.  The award is is given in recognition of the lifetime achievements of Professor Vlaskamp (University of Groningen) in placing a focus on the voice and rights of persons with profound intellectual disabilities.  It enables a young researcher to present at the World Conference of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD).   Magdi is a Marie Curie PhD Research Fellow at the Centre on its DREAM project which is a collaborative network shared with six other European universities and institutes. Magdi’s PhD research focuses on the conditions necessary to ensure effective participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in policy-making processes and national monitoring processes under the UN disability treaty.  She has a special focus on the most marginalized parts of the disability movement including persons with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities.

Commenting on her award, the Director of the Centre – Professor Gerard Quinn said: “Considering the outstanding achievements of Professor Vlaskamp this is a high honour indeed for Magdi.  Magdi is a great ambassador for the DREAM Marie Curie network and for the thinking behind the EU Marie Cure programme which excels at giving young researchers a chance not merely to learn but also to put that learning to good use.”

April 2014 - Asia Pacific Forum NHRI Manual

The Asia Pacific Forum (APF) of the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) has commissioned the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the National University of Ireland in Galway to develop a manual for NHRIs concerning their role, responsibilities, activities and practices in protecting and promoting the rights of persons with disabilities. See the the website set up for the project here: http://nhrisanddisabilityrights.wordpress.com/

April 2014 - Article 12 General Comment Adopted and CDLP Staff Thanked

Centre for Disability Law and Policy (CDLP) staff members Dr Eilionoir Flynn (Deputy Director, Senior Lecturer) and Anna Arstein-Kerslake (DREAM Research Fellow) were thanked by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities today for their assistance and support drafting the General Comment on the Right to Equal Recognition Before the Law (Article 12). The General Comment was adopted today, 8 April 2014, and it is the first general comment adopted by the Committee. It clarifies the state obligations and individual rights in Article 12 CRPD, including the right to equal recognition before the law, the right to legal capacity, and the state duty to provide access to support for the exercise of legal capacity. The General Comment provides a groundbreaking description of these rights and duties, which will be used as the basis for examining state party compliance with Article 12. The final version will be available shortly on the website of the CRPD Committee.

March 2014 - LLM students organise Disability Awareness Week - Access  All Areas

Access  All Areas

The Centre for Disability Law and Policy and the Disability Support Service are delighted to support its LLM students in hosting a Disability Awareness Week - Access All Areas at NUIG. This week will highlight and promote Inclusion, Accessibility and Diversity around NUI Galway.

The week will run from 24th – 27th March and there are a range of activities planned. For the full programme see the website.

February 2014 - Prof Gabor Gombos Leads Historic Week of Intensive Teaching on Legal Capacity

Gabor Gombos

February 2014 - MEP visits Centre

MEP visits Centre

Ms Mairead McGuinness MEP, a supporter of and collaborator with the Centre, dropped by for visit in February to catch up on our activities. She is pictured (7th from left) with staff and students during the visit.

January 2014 - Seminar: Access to Justice and Reform of Legal Aid

Access to Justice and Reform of Legal Aid

The Disability Legal Information Clinic and NUI Galway Free Legal Advice Centre hosted a seminar on Access to Justice and Reform of Legal Aid on 29 January 2014. Speakers included (as pictured below) Judge Mary Fahy, Tom O’Malley (NUIG) Teresa Blake BL, and Lawrence Donnelly (NUIG) and the event was attended by 80 students, researchers and practitioners.

January 2014 - InAugural Indo-Irish Encounter on Legal Capacity

InAugural Indo-Irish Encounter on Legal Capacity

The first ever India and Ireland ’Policy Encounter’ on disability law and policy. was held on 17th and 18th January 2014 at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, India. NALSAR is India’s No 1 Law School. The encounter was a joint project of NALSAR University of Law, India and the National University of Ireland (Galway) Centre on Disability Law and Policy with the support of the SOROS-Open Society Foundations.

Its focus was law reform Bills on legal capacity going through our respective Parliaments.  The encounter brought together key players and figures from both countries’ legal and political systems to reflect together on commonalities and shared problematics in moving toward supported decision making in place of guardianship.  Stakeholders from across the board were represented at the meeting – persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, judges, members of parliament, civil servants, academics, researchers and law students. The result was two days of common reflection on the shared journey of legal capacity law reform, challenges faced, lessons learnt and possibilities for the future.  It was judged a huge success by all and the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions was agreed for formal development.

For Full Programme see here: Indo-Irish Encounter on Legal Capacity

2013 Archive

November 2013 - LLM Students Receive Gold Medal

LLM Students Receive Gold Medal 1

Pictured above are LLM Graduates Alberto Vasquez Encalada and Thomas Bernhard, joint awardees of the CDLP Gold Medal for Excellence, on their graduation day with Dr Lucy Byrnes, Dean of Graduate Studies.

They are joined below by Prof. Gerard Quinn, Director of the CDLP, and Shivaun Quinlivan, Programme Director of the LLM in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy.

LLM Students Receive Gold Medal 2

November 2013 - European Commission highlight the work of Early Stage Researcher

Robert Huffaker

The European Commission have highlighted the work of Robert Huffaker on their LinkedIn page. The piece reads:

"Meet Robert Huffaker, Marie Curie Actions Fellow of the week! This American Fellow, living in Madrid, is conducting a cost benefit analysis of countries & companies including eAccessibility into their economic policies. "eAccessibility means ensuring that people with disabilities are not excluded from the use of ICT goods & services, i.e. websites, information kiosks, ATMs or mobile apps. Our project title -DREAM (Disability Rights Expanding Accessible Markets)- is spot on because since Day 1, it's been a dream for me." More about MCA programme: http://lnkd.in/djZgSiF

Robert is a Marie Curie Research Fellow and PhD candidate at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at National University of Ireland, Galway.

November 2013 - First African Yearbook on Disability Rights

Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria

An inaugural African Disability Rights Yearbook, modeled on the CDLP's European Yearbook, has just been launched by the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria. It is available free African Yearbook on Disability Rights. The Yearbook was sponsored by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa and features articles by CDLP staff and alumni: Magdi Birtha, Elizabeth Kamundia and Likando Kalaluka.

November 2013 - CDLP Radio Documentary

Listen below to a short radio documentary on the CDLP produced by Céimin Burke, a Masters student in Journalism, which features interviews with current students and alumni.

November 2013 - Former CDLP students speak at Disability Rights Conference in South Africa

Innocentia & Elizabeth

Innocentia Mgijima (pictured above, left) who is due to graduate from the LL.M. in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy this month, spoke at the "Disability Rights in Africa Conference - Overcoming obstacles: towards the effective implementation of the CRPD in Africa" This conference was held in the very prestigious Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa. She spoke on: "Realising the right to ’access to criminal justice’ for children with disabilities in Africa: charting the way forward." Current CDLP researcher Elizabeth Kamundia (right) also spoke at the conference.

October 2013 - CDLP supports US ratification of the CRPD

Prof. Quinn has shown his support for the USA to ratify the disability convention. Click here to read his letter: Letter in support of US ratification of the CRPD

October 2013 - Prof. Gerard Quinn presents at "Rights Enforcement - The Next Steps, UNCRPD article 12 standards and their implementation in legal frameworks" in Sofia

The Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law Foundation, the Institute for Legal Studies at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the Open Societies Foundations held a two day event in Sofia, Bulgaria on legal capacity reform. The event was hugely informative and interesting. Prof. Quinn spoke on ’Liberation, Cloaking Devices and the Law.’ Or a Personal Reflection on the Law and Theology of Article 12 of the UN CRPD. Click here to read his speech: Rights Enforcement - The Next Steps, UNCRPD article 12 standards...

October 2013 - CDLP Joins European-Level Groups Calling for Change in EU Structural Funds Regulations in Crucial European Parliament Vote

The draft EU Structural Funds Regulations propose to condition the future receipt of EU Structural Finds on having in place a strategy to move people from institutions to community living.  The CDLP joins forces with Age-Platform Europe, LUMOS, the Equal Rights Trust, the European Foundation Centre and the European Disability Forum in calling for a tightening and clarification of the new conditions.  A Joint Memorandum, addressed to the European Parliament and the European Commission has today been published as the result of unprecedented collaboration between these groups.  No more European citizens should have to endure institutionalization.  And no European taxpayer should be compelled to fund outdated and inhumane provision for our fellow citizens.

Click here to read the memo: Call for Change in EU Structural Funds Regulations

September 2013 - Assisted Decision-Making Capacity Bill - Suggestions for Reform in line with International Human Rights Obligations

The Centre for Disability Law and Policy, as part of a working group of civil society organisations, has published a brief document  outlining key reforms needed to ensure that the Bill complies with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The group also published a press release today, the 24th of September, to coincide with the Department of Justice and Equality's Consultation Symposium on the Bill on 25 September 2013.

September 2013 - Launch of Volume 4 of the European Yearbook of Disability Law & Research Colloquium

Launch of Volume 4

The Centre for Disability Law and Policy and the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights are pleased to announce the official launch of Volume 4 of its annual publication: the European Yearbook of Disability Law. On Thursday 19 September 2013, the Centres launched the Yearbook on the occasion of a large gathering of disability research experts at the University of Cologne.

Published annually, the European Yearbook of Disability Law tracks and analyses major developments on disability issues at European Level and is targeted at EU policy-makers, civil society groups and legal practitioners. It provides insight and oversight in this rapidly evolving field. The Yearbook is part of the ongoing, collaborative research programme of the Centre for Disability law & Policy (CDLP) at the National University of Ireland (Galway) and the Maastricht Centre for Human Rights of Maastricht University and is edited by Professor Gerard Quinn (Director of the CDLP), Professor Lisa Waddington (who holds the European Disability Forum Chair of European Disability Law at Maastricht University) and Dr Eilionóir Flynn (Senior Research Fellow at the CDLP), pictured above.

September 2013 - CDLP submit paper to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Mental Capacity Act  2005

The House of Lords Select Committee welcomed submissions on the operation on the Mental Capacity Act  2005. The CDLP submitted a paper to the Lords, outlining the recent trends in capacity law and the Irish reform process:
CDLP Submission to the House of Lords

August 2013 - EU DG Research singles out DREAM project as success story

The EU Directorate General for Research, led by Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, has singled out the CDLP-managed Marie Curie DREAM project as a success story which is profiled on its website. To read this piece in full, click here.

For more information about DREAM, click here.

July 2013 - Leading Mental Health Reform Advocate appointed Adjunct Chair at NUI Galway

NUI Galway is delighted to announce the appointment of Gábor Gombos as Adjunct Professor of International Disability Law and Policy based at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, part of the School of Law.

A physicist by education, Mr Gombos is widely recognized as a leader in the fields of legal capacity reform which deals with when, if ever, your decision-making capacity can be taken away. He is also known as a leading mental health reform advocate throughout the world. He has played an active part in the negotiations of the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and he sits on the UN monitoring body that oversees implementation of the convention. In recognition of his long service in the field he was conferred with the Order of Merit (Knights Cross) by the Government of Hungary in 2009.

Mr Gombos, who resides in Budapest, already holds an adjunct chair at the Centre for Disability Studies at the National Academy for Legal Studies and Research in (NALSAR) Hyderabad in India.

The Centre at NUI Galway has also played a leading role worldwide in the evolution of new models of legal capacity which replace guardianship regimes with supported decision-making regimes and has been playing a leading role in Ireland on mental health reform.  Both these topics - legal capacity and mental health reform – are crucial in the future evolution of global disability reform models.

Announcing the appointment, Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre, said: “Mr Gombos is credited with developing the notion of ’expertise by experience’ which generates knowledge and reform ideas from the people most directly affected. The Centre – by itself and as a constituent of Project Lifecourse with the Centre for Child and Family Research and the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology – has a real need to move in this direction and to create much more space for civic engagement through participatory research.  His inputs will be of direct relevance to Project Lifecourse and not just to the Centre, and we envisage collaborating on large scale research bids in the field of mental health law innovation."

July 2013 - CDLP release press release on assisted-decision making (capacity) bill - "Cautious welcome for the Assisted Decision-Making Bill"

Legal capacity bill

The CDLP has written a press release on the Assisted Decision-Making Bill released by the Government on July 17th, 2013. Prof. Gerard Quinn notes that this is a landmark moment in the process of disability law reform in Ireland. Dr. Eilionoir Flynn notes that there is room for improvement and stated that we will be making suggestions to ensure the primacy of the principle of will and preference is included throughout the Act to ensure respect for human rights.

To read the statement in full, including quotes from Dr. Mary Keys and Mr. Charles O'Mahony, click here:  Cautious welcome for the Assisted Decision-Making Bill

A working group of civil society organisations also released this statement upon the publication of the Bill: Civil Society organisations statement

The group comprises the following: Alzheimer's Society of Ireland, Amnesty International Ireland, Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway, Disability Federation of Ireland, Inclusion Ireland, Irish Mental Health Lawyers Association, Mental Health Reform, Neurological Alliance of Ireland, St Patrick’s University Hospital.

To read the bill, click here.

July 2013 - CDLP involved in drafting major report on deinstitutionalization in Israel

The CDLP is involved in action for people with disabilities in Israeli. Click here to see news item.

July 2013 - SOROS-OSF Video Profiles Disability Masters Scholar

SOROS-Open Society Foundations have commissioned a video profiling Elizabeth Kamundia, a graduate of the Law School Masters programme in Disability Law and Policy. Elizabeth was awarded the inaugural Gold Medal for the programme having graduated top of her class in 2012. She nows advices the Kenyan Human Rights Commission on legal capacity reform.  

June 2013 - Fundamental Rights Agency appoint Quinn to Scientific Board

Gerard Quinn, Professor at the School of Law at NUI Galway and Director of its Centre for Disability Law and Policy, has been appointed to the ’scientific committee’ of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) which is headquartered in Vienna. The EU FRA is one of the specialized agencies of the EU which was set up in 2007 to provide expert advice to the EU and its Member States to ensure that the fundamental rights of people living in the EU are respected.  It helps to inform EU law and policy and to ensure that its power is properly harnessed to respect fundamental rights.

The ’scientific committee’ oversees the quality of the research of the FRA across a broad range of topics (e.g., racism, the rights of older people, privacy, the quality of the democratic process, etc.). This June (2013) Professor Quinn joins eleven other widely renowned experts from across Europe for a five year term. Quinn says “Europe is at a historic turning point away from failed economic and social models. It has a chance to reinvent itself as a force for good in its own citizens’ lives and around the world. This turn is by no means assured. But bodies like the EU FRA are at the fore of helping to redefine the EU of thefuture. That's why I am involved.” 

The Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, Professor Donncha O’Connell, says “I would like to warmly congratulate Professor Quinn on this prestigious international appointment. It speaks directly to his impressive track record as an engaged scholar animated by impact in the domain of public policy, something to which the School of Law at NUI Galway is deeply committed.”

May 2013 - Centre releases Press release in advance of event

The Centre for Disability Law & Policy and the Disability Federation of Ireland have released a press release on the event "the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - Getting Ready to Ratify". This conference wil feature Theresia Degener, a memeber on the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and will look at Irelands obsticles to ratifying the Convention.

To read the press release, click here: United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

May 2013 - Irish Disability Studies Association host first AGM

AGM

The first AGM  of the Irish Disabilities Studies Association was held on the 10th of May 2013. Two members of the CDLP were elected for positions on the first committee; Elaine Keane was elected as secretary and Eilionoir Flynn was elected as a renewable ordinary member. After the AGM, the group had a seminar on the "next steps" that ireland must take before ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The group heard from Prof Gerard Quinn, Dr Rosarie McCarthy and Mr. Dermot Walsh. 

The overall aims of the IDSA are to promote research and analysis about disability, informed by social models of disability; and to provide a forum on the island of Ireland, north and south, for analysis, discussion, exchange of ideas and scholarship on disability. The IDSA provides a space to bring together people and organisations with an interest in research and analysis of disability policy and practice, including the research community, people with disabilities, families and carers, public officials, practitioners, disability organisations, other non-governmental organisations and academic institutions.

April 2013 - LLMs meet the European Disability Forum

LLms meet EDF

On Tuesday 9th April, 2013 the International and Comparative Disability Law Masters Class met with Etienne Cuche (European Parliament Officer for EDF) for an informal discussion to explore how this European Organization effectively represents the voice of persons with disabilities and ensures that they are heard within EU policy-making processes.

February 2013 - Prof. Gerard Quinn profiled by SOROS-OSF

Prof. Quinn is profiled in a blog post on the SOROS - Open Society Foundations website. Prof. Quinn talks about how he has seen changes in the area of disability law and talks about what an open society should mean. To read this post, please click here.

2012 Archive

December 2012 - CDLP Alumna profiled by SOROS-OSF

Elizabeth Kamundia, graduate of the LLM in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy 2011 - 12 and inaugural gold medal winner in the class, is profiled in this blog on the SOROS - Open Society Foundations website. Elizabeth writes very positively of her time in Galway at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy whilst on a scholarship from SOROS - Open Society Foundations. To read Elizabeth's blog post, please click here.

November  2012 - Centre Graduates its Inaugural Masters Class

LLM Graduation

Pictured: The LLM in International & Comparative Disability Law & Policy Class of 2012 with their Lecturers on their Graduation day

November 2012 - CDLP memo on the US ratification process

In light of the recent discussions in the US Senate on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the CDLP has written a memo on the U.S ratification process thus far. The memo is available to read here: CDLP memo on the US ratification process

October 2012 - Prof. Quinn in Washington at the conference "Toward a new US-EU Dialogue on Disability: the CRPD as a Transatlantic Bridge"

Prof. Quinn spoke in Washington on October 25th at the conference "Toward a new US-EU Dialogue on Disability: the CRPD as a Transatlantic Bridge". The event included a discussion of the opportunity for transatlantic dialogue and collaboration within the global disability agenda in the context of the CRPD.  Facilitating a new transatlantic conduit for dialogue can aid effective implementation of the CRPD on both sides of the Atlantic.  This bridge between the two continents can allow for disability policymakers and advocates to share knowledge and facilitate collaboration, ultimately driving solutions for the rest of the world.

Professor Quinn was joined in the discussion by international disability rights legal scholars and advocates Janet Lord and Eric Rosenthal.

September 2012 - New Soros Scholars meet with University President, Dr. Jim Browne

New Soros Scholars meet with University President

President Browne recently welcomed a cohort of SOROS Open Society Foundations scholars to Galway as they embarked on their studies on the LLM in International & Comparative Disability Law and Policy. The LLM programme, one of the first of its kind in the world and now in its second year, is supported by the international philanthrophic organisation SOROS Open Society Foundations, this year in the form of seven full-time scholarships for students from Nepal, Peru, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Pictured L-R are: Shivaun Quinlivan, LLM Programme Director; Frankson Musukwa; Gabriel De Barros; Innocentia Mgijima; Dr Jim Browne; Alberto Vasquez Encalada; Kiran Wagle; Sindile Mhlanga; Pooja Bhandari; Professor Gerard Quinn, Director, Centre for Disability Law and Policy, School of Law.

July 2012 - CDLP Welcomes US Senate Hearings on UN Disability Treaty

A historic hearing on the UN Disability Treaty took place yesterday, 11th July 2012 in the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.  Please click here to read Professor Quinn's commentary on the hearings: Commentary on hearings on the UN Disability Treaty

June 2012 - President Michael D. Higgins officially opens the 4th International Disability Summer School

To read the President of the University's speech : President Browne's speech
To read President Higgins' speech: President Higgins' speech

June 2012 - CDLP PhD research showcased by IRCHSS

The research of CDLP PhD candidate, Aisling de Paor, on genetic discrimination features as a Research Showcase on the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) website.

Please click here to view this research.

27th April 2012 - CDLP and Irish Human Rights Commission host seminar

The Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) and the Centre for Disability Law and Policy held a seminar on the 27th of April 2012. the Seminar was hosted by the Irish Human Rights Commission in Dublin. The aim of the seminar was to create a reflective space to explore the possible ways to develop a national "framework" in Ireland for the monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) after Ireland ratifies this international human rights treaty.

To read more on this event, please click here: IHRC & CDLP Seminar

April 2012 - Legal Capacity Justice Committee Report

The Justice Committee of the Oireachtas chaired by David Stanton TD issued its report today based on hearings it held earlier in 2012.  The CDLP was closely involved in the hearings - see the below post from the 20/02/1012 for more details.

The Committee accepted the arguments presented by the CDLP and others (which were based on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) and issued this historic report.

April 2012 - CDLP Memo Re: Vote on EU Structural Funds

Prof. Gerard Quinn, of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, has released a memo on the upcoming vote on the EU Structural Funds. The purpose of this memo is to set out the legal and other implications that will predictably arise if the EU Council decides to remove the proposed ex ante conditionalities as they relate to disability from the draft General Regulation governing the Structural Funds.  

The analysis contained in this memo is based on an assessment of the legal obligations assumed by the European Union upon its landmark ’confirmation’ (’ratification’) of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) in 2010.

Fuller analysis is provided in a more detailed Study to be launched by the UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (European Region) in May 2012: ’Getting a Life – Living Independently and Being included in the Community: A Legal Study of the Current Use and Future Potential of the European Structural Funds to contribute to the achievement of Article 19 of the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities’ (Quinn & Doyle).

Read the full memo here: CDLP Memo on Vote on EU Structural Funds

March 2012 - Centre for Disability Law and Policy host SOROS - Open Society Foundations convening 

In March 2012 the CDLP was honoured to host a convening of SOROS-Open Society Foundations disability grantees from around the world. SOROS-OSF funds law programmes on disability rights and scholarships at several law schools from South Africa, Argentina, Nepal, the US, the UK and Ireland and brought them all together for the first time at NUI Galway to explore continued and deepened collaboration.

The delegation and their grantees met with current LLM in Disability Law and Policy SOROS-OSF scholars and as well as students involved with the Disability Legal Information Clinic. See photographs of the convening here.

03/04/2012 - Amnesty Ireland and CDLP launch legal capacity essential principles

Amnesty Ireland and the Centre for Disability Law and Policy co-chaired a process to develop human rights-based principles to underpin new legal capacity legislation. Fifteen civil society organisations have signed up to these principles which were launched at a national seminar on April 3rd.

The Legal Capacity Essential Principles document can be seen here: Legal Capacity Essential Principles

12/03/2012 - Proposed Disability Studies Association of Ireland

A meeting was held in University College Dublin on the 12th of March to discuss the possibility of establishing a Disability Studies Association of Ireland. Professor Dan Goodley, lecturer in Manchester Metropolitan University and a member of the Disability Studies Association in the United Kingdom, spoke about the his experience and offered advice on how Ireland should take its first steps in establishing an association.  There was a range of people in attendance, all with an interest in advancing disability studies. Various universities were represented, service providers, self advocates and interest groups. Break out groups discussed what an association would aim to do and how best these aims could be achieved. All groups agreed that Disability Studies should be promoted and the association should facilitate sharing of knowledge and networking.

The next Disability Studies Association of Ireland meeting will be held by Dublin City University.

2011 Archive

09/02/2011 - Vacancies for Senior Research Fellow

The National University of Ireland Galway, is seeking outstanding candidates for a Senior Research Fellow fixed term contract position at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy. The Centre for Disability Law and Policy (CDLP), National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland was founded in 2008 and is funded by philanthropy as well as research contracts mainly from the European Union. This appointment will be made initially on a one year basis with the possibility of extension for a further three years. The successful candidate will be expected to direct the research projects of the Centre, to play a leading strategic role with respect to the ongoing development/refinement of the Centre’s research agenda and to take a leading role in crafting suitable research bids.

Full information is available via the NUI Galway Job Vacancies Page, or consult this application information document: Senior Research Fellow

07/02/2011 - Vacancies for Researchers/PhDs

Applications for Marie Curie Early Stage Researchers in the DREAM consortium (Disability Rights Expanding Accessible Markets) are now open at http://www.nuigalway.ie/dream.

2010 Archive

15/01/2010 - Launch of European Yearbook of Disability Law (Volume 1)

The European Yearbook of Disability Law (Volume 1), an annual collaborative project between NUI Galway and the University of Maastricht, will take place on Friday 29th January 2010.  Attendees will be welcomed by NUI Galway President, Dr. Jim Browne. Mr Hywel Ceri Jones will formally launch the Yearbook.  He is the co-chair of the Consortium of European Foundations (Philanthropies) on Human Rights Disability (Brussels), and the former Deputy Director General of DG Employment, Social Affairs & Equal Opportunities in the European Commission. Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre, will talk briefly about upcoming publications and events within the Centre and its international collaboration.