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Grounding the right to live in the community (CRPD Article 19) in the capabilities approach to social justice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article number101551
JournalInternational Journal of Law and Psychiatry
Early online date4 Mar 2020
Accepted/In press20 Feb 2020
E-pub ahead of print4 Mar 2020
Published4 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.


King's Authors


For advocates of the rights of persons with disabilities, particularly persons with mental disabilities, the human right to live in the community as an equal member is seen to be central and, often, even as the basis for all other human rights. Yet, despite its articulation in human rights law in the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD), foundational issues about the right remain undertheorized and unclear. This paper brings to bear the capabilities approach, a normative framework about human well-being, social development and social justice, to this central concern in disability rights, mental health ethics, and international human rights law: protecting and respecting a person's right to live in a community as an equal. We argue that this human and moral right is best conceptualized as a capability to live in the community as an equal member. The capabilities approach provides this capability with a strong ethical framework and conceptual resources to guide reasoning and its practical realization.

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