A Review of Disability Law and Legal Mobilisation in Sri Lanka [Draft 2]
31 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2012
Date Written: January 17, 2012
This chapter brings together a number of disability laws and disability related provisions in review. Due to the paucity of scholarly literature concerning disability law in Sri Lanka, this chapter is tailored to both the local Sri Lankan reader and well as international readers. As such the chapter is necessarily technical in parts so as to provide assistance to future legal researchers, attorneys, disability studies scholars and activists. Theoretical critiques have been kept to a minimum. The development of law always occurs in the context of a country’s history, legal traditions, and of course contestations in local and international politics.
The chapter opens in Section 1 with a rendition of Sri Lanka’s disability profile. Section 2, provides the global backdrop to ‘geodisability knowledge’ in order to provide clarity about frameworks acting as drivers of change and accountability. Shifting from the global to the local, Section 3 details law of country – those Constitutional structures of Sri Lanka and inherited legal traditions. These structures require critical appraisal as they ultimately govern the development of disability law, create rights and remedies for disabled people at the grassroots level and conversely provide different challenges to inducing change from other countries such as the USA, India or Australia where context and legal reasoning can be dissimilar. Section 4, Disability Law in Sri Lanka, takes up the bulk of the chapter and is an exhaustive overview of social policy structures, dedicated disability statutes, mental disability law, social insurance/security laws, injured employee legislation and future directions. In Section 5, the Chapter turns toward social change and activism in its review of approaches to legal mobilisation, freedom of information, locus standi and the use of the writ of quo warranto and the writ of habeas corpus particularly for mental disability issues.
Keywords: Sri Lanka law, disability law, disability studies
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