Mental Disability Law in Practice (July 1 – July 12, 2013)


Central European University, Budapest announces its international postgraduate summer course on “Mental Disability Law in Practice” (July 1 – July 12, 2013) for graduate students and junior researchers and faculty preferably in humanities.

Detailed course information:

Course Directors:

Oliver Lewis, Mental Disability Advocacy Center, Budapest, Hungary

Course Faculty:

Peter Bartlett, School of Law, University of Nottingham, UK
Anna Lawson, Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law, School of Law, University of Leeds, UK
Lycette Nelson, Mental Disability Advocacy Center, Budapest, Hungary
Eva Szeli, Arizona State University, Phoenix; New York Law School, USA

This two-week applied legal advocacy course is designed to strengthen the skills and knowledge of an array of participants including practicing attorneys, non-practising lawyers, NGO staff and board members, policy-makers, activists, policy experts and PhD students.

We encourage people with disabilities to apply, especially those with experience of intellectual or psycho-social disabilities.

The course focuses on experiences from Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and India. We welcome participants from anywhere in the world. While drilling down into real-life application of rights, the course will also explore interdisciplinary perspectives from sociology, public policy, and psychology. Note that scholarships are extremely limited and it is expected that participants will be largely or wholly self-funded.

Together, the faculty members have experience in human rights advocacy, teaching and programming across Europe, Africa, North America and India, and are sensitive to – and knowledgeable about – the specific needs and problems of these regions.

The course aims to strengthen participants’ knowledge about international law, in particular the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol. The course objectives are to heighten participants’ awareness of this international law (and to understand some of the tensions between this Convention and other legal instruments); to sharpen advocacy skills with relation to the rights of people with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities; and to utilise strategic litigation as an advocacy tool.

The course uses innovative teaching methods and encourages participants to reflect on law in practice, and how lawyers and other advocates can impact policy-making at the domestic level to ensure the implementation of international human rights law. Methods include, discussions with people with disabilities living in the community, videos, group discussions, a mock presentation to a national human rights commission, advocacy skills training, as well as tutor presentations.

Language of instruction: English

For more details, email

Application deadline: February 15, 2013



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