Enhancing Deaf People’s Access to Justice in Northern Ireland: Implementing Article 13 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Bronagh Byrne, Brent Elder, Michael Schwartz

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Abstract

Article 13 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) specifies that disabled people have the right to ‘effective access to justice’ on an equal basis with others. This includes Deaf people. There is a distinct lack of research which explores the extent to which Article 13 UNCRPD is implemented in practice and which actively involves Deaf people in its implementation and monitoring. This paper shares findings from a rights-based research study co-produced with a Deaf Advisory Group and a Deaf-led organisation. It explores the implementation of Article 13 UNCRPD in Northern Ireland through the experiences of key stakeholders across the justice system including police officers, solicitors, barristers, and judges. The findings of this research study suggest that Deaf people’s access to the justice system is not well supported and that current provisions for Deaf people’s legal needs fall well short of what is required by the UNCRPD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74–84
JournalScandinavian Journal of Disability Research
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 08 Mar 2021

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