Equality and Health: Reaching for Resolution in the Realms of Disability Rights?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 16:30to18:30
Chancellor Day Hall Maxwell Cohen Moot Court (NCDH 100), 3644 rue Peel, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W9, CA

The Research Group in Health and Law and the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism are pleased to welcome Anna Lawson, Deputy Director, Interdisciplinary Centre for Disability Studies, University of Leeds, who will be giving the Fifth Annual Lecture in Health and Law on the subject of Equality and Health: Reaching for Resolution in the Realms of Disability Rights?


This lecture will reflect on the relationship between the concepts of equality and health in the disability context. It will consider ways in which the demands of ‘health’ have often been used to override those of ‘equality’.

As well as having profound implications for the lives of disabled people, this has had significant political and theoretical repercussions. Consideration will be given to the harmful impact, on the health of disabled people, of neglecting the demands of equality.

The lecture will conclude by taking a step back and reflecting on the extent to which tensions between ‘equality’ and ‘health’ have been resolved, and on what factors, if any, are contributing to achieving greater reconciliation. This discussion will be set against the backdrop of international developments and, in particular, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


Anna Lawson is the deputy director of the interdisciplinary Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Leeds. She teaches a range of subjects, including ‘International Human Rights and Disabled People’ and ‘Equality Law’. Her research focuses on disability equality and human rights and her publications include EU Non-Discrimination Law and Intersectionality, edited with Dagmar Schiek, (Ashgate, 2011); Disability and Equality Law in Britain (Hart Publishing, 2008); and Disability Rights in Europe, edited with Caroline Gooding (Hart Publishing, 2005).

Anna has worked in a variety of research projects relating to disability equality and human rights. She is currently a member of the core research team of the European Union’s Academic Network of Experts on Disability (www.disability-europe.net), where she is co-ordinating work relating to accessibility reform. She has just completed work on the first disability project of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency’s (fra.europa.eu), where she played a lead role in co-ordinating work on independent living and community participation for people with mental health conditions and people with intellectual disabilities. Anna is also actively involved in the work of disability and human rights organisations.

For six years she has been a trustee of the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre (www.mdac.info). She has also been a trustee of the Royal National Institute of Blind and Partially Sighted People and of local organisations (including Leeds Independent Disability Council).

For more information, email us at rghl.law [at] mcgill.ca.

Earlier that day, Anna Lawson will be participating in the third Disability, Human Rights and the Law Seminar.

This conference has been accredited by the Barreau du Québec for 1.5 hours of Continuing Legal Education. no. 10062220.

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