Carers and the Failure of 'Identity' - Luke Clements

Prof. Luke Clements will speak about self-identity for carers through European case-law, and before discussion Val Hewison, Chief Executive of Carers Leeds will provide a short response.

The Centre for Disability Studies is delighted to announce the latest in their Conversations series. 


Although self-identity has radicalised and propelled many classically disadvantaged groups to gain legal rights – it does not seem to have worked for carers.  Can ‘being a carer’ be an ‘identity’ and if so why has the legal recognition of the rights of carers proved to be such a problem?  And why is there not a radical wing to the ‘care-givers’ movement?

The seminar considers the European case-law that has followed the ECJ judgment of Coleman v. Attridge Law (2008) and suggests that according carers some form of ‘protected status’ in non-discrimination legislation has not, and will not materially change their disadvantaged status.  The seminar argues that for carers, at least, Martha Fineman’s critique of identity-based approaches to equality holds true.

About the speakers

Professor Luke Clements is the Cerebra Professor of Law & Social Justice at the School of Law. Luke also has experience as a practicing solicitor acting for people who experience social exclusion (in particular) disabled people and their carers. Luke has written extensively concerning the right to social care support.

Val Hewison has led Carers Leeds for over 10 years - working with other services to help support the 72,000 unpaid carers in Leeds.  Val’s passion for supporting carers was developed through her personal experiences of caring and her extensive qualifications in social care and management.

Please register here for the talk.

Location details

Seminar Room G.28
Liberty Building
Moorland Road
University of Leeds

The Liberty Building can be found on the campus map

All welcome. This is a free event, though registration is required.

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