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Law I Health I Justice Seminar: Professor Rosie Harding, Attending to the Polyphonic Legality of Mental Capacity Law in Everyday Decisions.

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Event description

Law|Health I Justice at the University of Technology Sydney invites you to a seminar by Professor Rosie Harding, University of Birmingham, UK.

This talk explores the multiple voices that characterise the everyday experience of mental capacity law, through a discussion of the ways that people with learning disabilities and other cognitive impairments are supported to make legally relevant decisions about their everyday lives, or are prevented from doing so through substitute decisions made for them by others. At times, the range of different views and perspectives that are offered by the multiple actors in capacity law praxis can work to obscure and overpower those of the person whose life is at the centre of the legal problem, issue or choice. In response, the idea of ‘polyphonic legality’ is proposed as a conceptual tool to explore these multiple perspectives. Drawing on qualitative socio-legal interview research alongside doctrinal analysis and secondary analysis of court and national statistics, it is demonstrated how capacity law in an ableist society works to silence disabled people’s voices, exploring what this means for capacity law, and for disabled people.

About our speaker

Rosie Harding is Professor of Law and Society at the University of Birmingham, UK and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. Her research explores the place of law in everyday life, particularly in the contexts of ageing, disability, gender and sexuality. She uses social science methods including both qualitative and quantitative approaches to empirical research to investigate the place of law in everyday life, including everyday understandings of equality, law and legal discourse, and human rights. She was chair of the UK Socio-Legal Studies Association from 2017-2022. She has published widely and her most recent monograph, Duties to Care: Dementia, Relationality and Law, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017). She is series editor for the Bristol University Press Law, Society, Policy book series, and editor of Supporting Legal Capacity in Socio-Legal Context (Hart, forthcoming, with Mary Donnelly and Ezgi Taşcıoğlu), Revaluing Care in Theory, Law, and Policy (Routledge, 2017, with Ruth Fletcher and Chris Beasley); Ageing and Sexualities (Routledge, 2016, with Elizabeth Peel), and Law and Sexuality (Routledge, 2017).

This event is delivered in hybrid mode: come along in person to UTS Law Faculty and join us for a light lunch, or participate online.

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