'Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place': Anti-discrimination Legislation in the Liberal State and the Fate of the Australian Disability Discrimination Act

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Abstract

This article offers a critical analysis of some of the practical implications for disabled people of the Disability Discrimination Act of 1992. Specifically, it raises questions about politics and the role of the law as an instrument of social change?taking greater account of the interests of disabled people?on the one hand, and of the reliance of the social model of disability on a strategy based upon legal rights on the other. The article also suggests that the constraining effects of Australia's constitutional protections of rights and its federal system of government hinder the mildly progressive elements of the Disability Discrimination Act. To illustrate this, the paper employs empirical evidence to suggest that these effects have been exacerbated by the passage of the Human Rights Legislation Amendment Act in 1999.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-528
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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