Chapter

Conclusion

Michael L. Perlin

in International Human Rights and Mental Disability Law

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195393231
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199914548 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195393231.003.0019

Series: American Psychology-Law Society Series

Conclusion

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This chapter summarizes the entire book. It underscores that, while the shameful state of affairs described is mostly not on the reform agenda of the culpable governments, and while sanism, as the hallmark of society’s views about mental disability and persons with mental disability, persists (the label of “patient” or “ex-patient” continuing to be a “scarlet letter” in most parts of the world), there are some beacons of light and hope. Among the most significant are these: (1) the ratification of the CRPD and the greater acceptance of a social model of disability; the emergence of authentic grassroots advocacy movements; (2) a comprehension on the part of some individual judges and courts that the issues before them “matter”—that they involve “real people,” and that enforcement of international human rights in cases dealing with this population is as important as the enforcement of human rights in cases that revolve around issues of gender, age, sexual orientation, or ethnic minority status; (3) a burgeoning case law in the United States and Europe, and some case law in the Inter-American and African regional court/commission systems; and (4) the first steps taken in Asia to create a tribunal that will give persons with mental disabilities (and those with other disabilities) similar access to a regional adjudicatory body to which they can bring their complaints when discriminated against because of disability. These are important first steps, but, globally, progress still remains modest, and, in this area of law and policy, “International human rights reality still routinely lags behind human rights aspirations.” Therapeutic jurisprudence has the far-reaching potential to allow us to come to grips with the pernicious power of sanism and pretextuality and to offer us an opportunity to make coherent what has been incoherent—and to expose what has been hidden—for far too long. TJ offers the best possible means of redemption and remediation of the issues—issues of basic human dignity—under discussion in this volume.

Keywords: Disability Rights Tribunal for Asia and the Pacific; Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; international human rights law; mental disability law; dignity; sanism; pretextuality; advocacy; counsel; therapeutic jurisprudence

Chapter.  2477 words. 

Subjects: Criminal and Forensic Psychology

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