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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

LAW5862M Human Rights and Disabled People 1

15 creditsClass Size: 15

Module manager: Dr Amanda Keeling

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Pre-requisite qualifications

This is a Law module, therefore some background knowledge in law would be of an advantage.

Module replaces

LAW5195M International Human Rights and Disabled People

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Disabled people are commonly estimated to make up 15-20% of the world’s population. Whilst definitions of 'disabled' vary, for purposes of international human rights law it is clear that the term covers people with a wide range of physical, cognitive, emotional and other characteristics which deviate from (often contested) social norms. There is evidence from all around the world that disabled people are disproportionately likely to experience exclusion (e.g. from family life, from education, employment, healthcare, political and legal processes) and there is a powerful connection between disability and poverty which affects disabled people themselves and also their families. This module explores some of the foundational concepts at work in disability-related human rights law (both at UN and regional levels). Particularly important in the module will be the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006 – a treaty which was drafted with unprecedented involvement of disabled people and civil society. Reference will, however, also be made to the other core UN human rights treaties and to regional human rights systems (e.g. the Council of Europe, Inter-American and African systems) where appropriate. Students will be encouraged to reflect critically on the ways in which these supra-national human rights laws have been, and could be, harnessed to enhance social justice and reform at the domestic level. Prior legal knowledge is not required – non-law students with an interest in disability politics are encouraged to join us.


At the end of this module, students will be aware of, and have a clear understanding of:
- the debates and process leading to the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD);
- the relationship between the CRPD and other UN human rights conventions;
- the key aims and principles of the CRPD;- the types of exclusion and marginalisation which disabled people experience in different parts of the world and the potential of the CRPD and other UN human rights treaties to be used to tackle these;
- the potential of regional human rights treaties and systems to be used in efforts to challenge exclusion and marginalisation experienced by disabled people;
- the provisions of the CRPD designed to confer substantive protection from specific types of human rights violation and any disability specific issues relating to such violations;
- debates about the effectiveness of human rights as a means of promoting and underpinning social change;
- debates about involvement and participation of civil society in human rights and other law and policy processes.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes relevant to the subject:
The outcomes of this module are to develop in students:
- Understanding of international disability law and policy and the nature of the problems of exclusion and marginalisation it is designed to tackle;
- Understanding of the interrelationship between national, regional and international regimes in the context of disability and the impact of the international regime on national law and policy;
- Ability to critically evaluate the potential role of the law in promoting equality and inclusion;
- Ability to engage with relevant concepts and debates at an advanced level appropriate to a postgraduate module.

Skills learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills learning outcomes:
1. Academic skills, including an ability to find, evaluate and use information related to disability law and policy, and to critically assess different arguments and perspectives on this topic.
2. Digital skills, namely an ability to use digital technology and techniques and navigate different subject databases to advance academic skills (research, presentation, writing).
4. Systems thinking; this is a socio-contextual module, which understands law as part of a wider social system and considers the political and other influences on its design and implementation; and engages in analysis of rights in the context of disability and social justice.
5. Be able to evaluate and analyse a range of information to put forward coherent and evidence based arguments


Details of the syllabus will be provided on the Minerva organisation (or equivalent) for the module

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours125.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

A formal formative assessment opportunity will be provided, which is specifically pedagogically aligned to the summative assessment task. As part of this, each student will receive individual feedback designed to support the development of knowledge and skills that will be later assessed in the summative assessment.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 04/04/2024


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