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Disability Rights in Ireland: Chronicle of a Missed Opportunity
Irish Political Studies (2007)
  • Jurgen De Wispelaere
  • Judy Walsh, University College Dublin
This article critically examines the Disability Act 2005 which regulates access to public services for disabled people in Ireland. We examine the competing conceptions of disability rights advanced by the government and the disability sector during the debate on the legislation and offer an interpretation of disability rights as the justiciable right to challenge. The Disability Act 2005 is then evaluated in light of the proposed framework. We outline a number of ways in which the absence of a justiciable right to challenge fails to safeguard the dignity, empowerment and participation of disabled people. We contend that, despite protestations to the contrary, the Act fails to meet the requirements of a rights-based approach, thus amounting to a missed opportunity for genuinely advancing the cause of disabled citizens in the Republic of Ireland.
  • disability,
  • disability rights,
  • enforcement,
  • justificiability,
  • judicial review,
  • courts,
  • jurisprudence,
  • democracy
Publication Date
December, 2007
Publisher Statement
Citation Information
Jurgen De Wispelaere and Judy Walsh. "Disability Rights in Ireland: Chronicle of a Missed Opportunity" Irish Political Studies Vol. 22 Iss. 4 (2007)
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