Brief abstracts of conference sessions will be listed here once the final program has been confirmed.

Title: Justice Education: A way Forward for Access to Justice for Person with Disability (With Special Reference to India)

Lead Presenter: Tiwari, Yash


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Session Abstract: Justice Education: A way Forward for Access to Justice for Person with Disability (With Special Reference to India) “Equal rights, Fair play, Justice, are all like the air; We all have it, or none of us has it, that is the truth of it” ---Maya Angelou All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. People with disabilities all over the world experience human rights violations, stigma and discrimination. To have a disability means that one has fundamental difficulty accomplishing things that others take for granted. There are many social factors that can affect whether or not individuals with disabilities are included or excluded from participation on various activities, which in turn can affect development or esteem. Disability is thus just not a health problem. It is a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives. The Preamble of the Indian Constitution provides that justice – social, economic and political has to be provided to the citizens. Part IV of the Indian Constitution provides fundamental rights to the citizens. Art. 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provide that ‘everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the Constitution or by law.’ Art. 39A of the Indian Constitution guarantees remedies to address rights violations. However access to these remedies is the major issue facing the Indian legal system today. Access to legal remedies is frustrated either due to lack of financial means, lack of good legal representation, lack of legal awareness etc. Persons with disabilities often find themselves marginalized by society and by our justice systems. Access to justice can be improved by improving justice education and training better advocates. Advocates not only must be knowledgeable concerning relevant laws and regulations, but also must be able to interact effectively on a personal, professional level with persons who have disabilities. It is also necessary to ascertain that persons with disabilities have the opportunity to learn to advocate for themselves and for other persons with disabilities. Technologies are available that can help us accomplish these goals. This paper provides a brief survey of legal protections (and gaps in such protection) for persons with disabilities. Successful advocate training programs from around the world are identified and described. The paper provides examples of how technology is being used to support these efforts and provides suggestions regarding additional ways in which technology could be employed. Law schools around the world have begun to embrace the goal of better advocacy, but improving access will require well-prepared advocates to answer the call. Training advocates to provide services to a population that may have significantly different needs even within that population may be a more efficient and effective way to improve access to justice than by attempting to draft laws and regulations that somehow address all possible circumstances.

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