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Department of Law - Academy of European Law

Workshop with the Authors: Disabling and Enabling International Law

Scholars and Law researchers engaged in a workshop exploring the nuances of equality and disability in European and International Law. The workshop brought together authors to discuss their chapters in the forthcoming volume "Equality and International Law: Disabling and Enabling International Law".

12 February 2024 | Event

AEL Workshop with the Authors

On 29-31 January 2024, the Academy of European Law (AEL) brought together scholars and researchers in a thought-provoking ‘Workshop with the Authors’ to deliberate on the authors’ draft chapters on disability rights in international law. The final chapters will be included in the volume ‘Equality and International Law: Enabling and Disabling Law’ which will be edited by AEL Co-Directors Neha Jain and Sarah Nouwen.

The sessions fostered academic engagement, with EUI Law researchers actively participating as discussants. Each researcher was assigned a specific chapter and, after a brief presentation by the author, the discussants provided constructive feedback. The main objective was to create a supportive environment by facilitating a rich exchange of ideas and weave together the chapters around the theme of ‘enabling and disabling law’.

Antoine De Spiegeleir, a PhD researcher in the Department of Law, highlighted the significance of the workshop, stating, "These workshops are a great opportunity for us, researchers, to engage with a particular theme in depth and learn about the publication process." Emphasising the importance of acting as a discussant, he stated, "It is a much-needed skill in an academic career, and not one we often get to sharpen."

Mirroring the success of past seminars, the workshop encouraged interaction with the ideas of others. EUI Professor Sarah Nouwen, the co-host of the session, underscored the significance of creating a space for critical reflections and encouraging conversations within the EUI community. "This may have seemed a very practical seminar. In these sessions, researchers gave suggestions to authors on their draft chapters for an edited collection focused on disability rights," she said. "In doing so, however, we essentially also addressed the existential question ‘what does it mean to be human’?"

Reflecting on the broader objective of these sessions, Nouwen noted, "Supporting the EUI’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusiveness (EDI) agenda, this seminar explored the role that law has in creating disability and enabling people with disabilities. These discussions about access and inclusive education also generated ideas for how we can make the EUI more inclusive."

The workshop stands as a testament to the Academy of European Law's dedication to advancing knowledge, fostering collaboration among scholars, and contributing to a critical discourse. Equally importantly, this innovative approach encourages a broader discourse on the theme of equality and accessibility within the EUI community.

"Hopefully, this seminar will build upon the work initiated by last year’s AEL Human Rights Law Course, creating a space for these conversations at the EUI and encouraging critical reflections, notably about the accessibility of our own community," commented De Spiegeleir.

The 'Workshop with the Authors' emerged as an extension of the 2023 AEL Human Rights Law Course, which explored the themes of equality and disability from international, European, and other regional human rights perspectives. The Distinguished Lecture was given by disability rights activist, Heidi Crowter.

The edited volume will be included in the Collected Courses of the Academy of Law of European Law series, to be published by Oxford University Press (OUP).

Last update: 12 February 2024

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