Versita

TOWARDS A PERMANENT CONSULTATION MECHANISM FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES. A STUDY FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Riku-Heikki Virtanen
Keywords: Persons with disabilities, consultation mechanisms, general principles of law, the obligation to consult, public participation ,

Abstract

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) stipulates an obligation for states to consult persons with disabilities in the development and implementation of legislation and policies with respect of implementing this Convention. Consultations with persons with disabilities have not as yet become a widespread practice in national legal orders. When it comes to EU member states, for example, not all of them incorporate the said obligation in national legislation. In its Concluding Observations the CRPD Committee suggests that the obligation to consult is a cross-cutting duty covering all rights guaranteed in the UN CRPD. Eventually, the draft General Comment No. 7 to the UN CRPD has arrived at a wider interpretation of the scope of an obligation to consult. Although a much wider scope of opportunity to be consulted is provided for the indigenous peoples by the ILO Convention No. 169, it has become a matter of consideration in several cases before regional human rights organs while the convention has not got a significant number of ratifications. Provided that the UN CRPD is much more broadly ratified by the states, will the adoption of this General Comment exert influence on empowering persons with disabilities? In order to find an answer to this question, this article explores the genesis of a general legal obligation to consult persons with disabilities on a permanent basis which would be wider in scope than matters of implementing the UN CRPD in international human rights law.