Through Merryman’s Window: the potential of English undergraduate liberal legal education to create proactive critical citizens and advance disability rights
- Date: Tuesday 4 December 2018, 12:30 – 14:30
- Location: Liberty Building
- Type: Seminars and lectures
- Cost: Free
Abigail Pearson will present key findings emerging from her doctoral research into disability studies and legal education.
Abigail Pearson's paper explores the potential of English undergraduate liberal legal education to increase legal consciousness about the rights of people with disabilities.
The numbers of students with disabilities studying law in England and Wales is increasing year on year, yet coverage of disability in the majority of universities is inconsistent and often confined to the context of employment. Additionally, a 2016 Equality Challenge Unit, in the House of Lords indicated that levels of awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities and legal remedies for violations remains low. This paper explores the potential of English undergraduate liberal legal education to increase legal consciousness about the rights of people with disabilities in response to low levels of awareness of these rights throughout society. Including disability discussions throughout the curriculum rather than in separate courses, using a critical perspective and including critical pedagogy, will equip students with the skill to critique the existing framework and to call for change where necessary. Including disability in this context aims to reaffirm the relationship between rights and education, to overcome the shortcomings of previous approaches and to help fulfil the educative arm of the human rights framework concerning disability at all levels. An increased focus at the academic stage of legal education could lead to wider dissemination and understanding which may lessen the need for legal intervention in the future. In doing so, it will argue that the concept of reasonable adjustment should be challenged to shift focus to the concept of ‘assurance of rightful access.’ It will argue that the recent developments around Brexit, concerning the rights of people with disabilities, and the changes to Disabled Students’ Allowances, make such considerations important and timely.
About the speaker
Seminar Room 1.11
School of Law
University of Leeds
For sat navs, please use the postcode for Moorland Road, LS6 1AN.
The Liberty Building can also be found on the campus map.
All welcome. This is a free event, though registration is required.
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