Peter Blanck teaches at Disability Discrimination Law Summer School, held at the National University of Ireland, Galway
This two-week Summer School was the first of its type in Europe to focus on anti-discrimination legal issues on the ground of disability. It focused on the potential of the EU Framework Directive on Employment Discrimination in the context of disability. The Framework Directive is the single most important legal instrument at the European level combating discrimination on the ground of disability. Its success or failure will be crucial to the cause of advancing the rights of persons with disabilities in Europe.
This Summer School - which was part funded by the European Commission and the National University of Ireland, Galway, conducted in partnership with the National University of Maastricht and hosted by the National University of Ireland, Galway - had the goals of raising general legal awareness about the practical potential of the Directive in the disability context and appealing to a wide range of persons and bodies including practising lawyers, judges, law students and disability NGOs as well as those more generally interested in public interest litigation.
More particularly, the Summer School was designed to impart skills as well as knowledge to enable participants to construct effective test case strategies under the Directive on behalf of persons with disabilities. Since the Directive is new to Europe, the programme explored the relevant discrimination caselaw under international and comparative disability discrimination law (especially USA & Canada) in order to gain insights into which strategies have worked elsewhere and the lessons to be learned in a European context. The relevant caselaw of the United Nations human rights treaty bodies as well as the caselaw of the European Court of Human Rights was also looked at.
A prestigious teaching faculty was assembled to deliver the programme. It was drawn from an international group of prominent legal experts and especially practitioners who have extensive experience in bringing test cases in the field of disability. Classes were interactive and a moot court was arranged to enable participants to gain first hand experience of crafting arguments under the Framework Directive.