Implementing a paradigm shift: implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the context of mental disability law
Part of book or chapter of book
- Publisher: Centre for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, American University Washington College of Law
The passage of the CRPD in 2006 promises a paradigm shift in the rights of people with disabilities. Implementing this paradigm shift is a major undertaking requiring the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders. The required reforms extend across the legal landscape, and attainment of any consensus on many reforms may take many years in some areas. In the interim, people with disabilities remain subject to situations that are indefensible in human rights terms, whether that is understood in the pre- or post-CRPD paradigm. This creates a set of dilemmas: how do human rights advocates argue for the amelioration of manifest abuses in the short to mid-term without undermining the underlying transformative promise of the CRPD’s new paradigm; and how is the pressure on states parties to be maintained in the long process of finding ways fully to implement the CRPD? These difficulties are discussed in the context of laws relating to mental disability, both in general and with particular reference to the revisions to the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (SMR) now under consideration.