The Law as a Tool - the project and organization

The Law as a Tool (In Swedish: Med lagen som verktyg) is a both the name of an ILI project and a Swedish organization.

The organisation

The Law as a Tool (In Swedish: Med lagen som verktyg) is a Swedish organization with the purpose to defend and advance human rights for people with disabilities and counter the discrimination of the same group in Sweden.

The organization works towards these purposes by:

  • contributing to case law in cases of discrimination due to disability,
  • increasing and spreading awareness of discrimination of people with disabilities and how to counter it.
  • increasing and spreading the legal expertise of discrimination of people with disabilities.

The fundament of the organization lies in the thinking of the  Independent Living Movement and we closely cooperate with Independent Living Institute. The organization takes on cases where our members have been discriminated against due to disability. If we take on a case, the organization pays all costs related to the litigation. The member does not have any risk of losing money on expensive attorney bills. For this purpose, we have set up a litigation fund. The money in it comes from membership fees and donations.

If you want to become a member or make a donation, please use the contact information on the website. We do not have the resources to translate our webpage to English, but we strongly encourage non-Swedish speaking citizens of or visitors to Sweden to contact us. The language you use, nor your citizenship matters if you are discriminated against in Sweden.

Contact the chairman Adolf Ratzka
adolf.ratzka@independentliving.org

The project

The project of Independent Living Institute runs from 2016 to 2019 with support from the Swedish Inheritage Fund. It has the aim to raise the awareness of the targets of discrimination as the possibilities and pitfalls concerning cases. It will also provide more general assistance to attorneys taking on disability discrimination cases.

In the field of disability discrimination law, too little attention has been paid to implementation of the law in practice, in particular the need to involve the disability community in enforcement of the law. The disability community has determined that the Swedish government agency tasked with enforcing the law has not done so, at least not in a manner that the NGOs consider necessary.

Therefore an interest has developed in the role that civil society can and should play in helping to ensure that the law is implemented so that case law can develop. There are various role models in eg the US (DREDF) and Israel (Bizchut) that demonstrate the role that civil society can play both in developing legislation (the ADA inspired much of the Swedish disability discrimination law) as well as in enforcing the law.

This case law is needed in Sweden (and Europe) so that the law can fulfil its reparative function in individual cases, but also so that the case law will serve a preventive function. The latter is actually the main purpose of banning discrimination, ie helping to ensure that people are not subjected to discrimination in the first place.

Contact

Swedish municipality liable for disability discrimination through deficient accessibility in elementary school

English
Linder, Ola.  2017.  Swedish municipality liable for disability discrimination through deficient accessibility in elementary school.

 

Sebastian Häregård, 14, was illegally discriminated against in his school Nästegårdsskolan in Vara municipality, Sweden. The municipality had failed to take measures for accessibility that are required. Deficient ramps and heavy doors which had not been rectified was sufficient to conclude that Sebastian had not been put in a comparable situation to pupils without his impairment.

The Discrimination Ombudsman (DO) sued the municipality for illegal discrimination in the form of deficient accessibility (Discrimination act 2008:567, 1:4 3p.). The Skaraborg District Court judgment was delivered on May 24 2017 (case no T-2447-16), establishing that the municipality is obliged to pay 30 000 SEK to Sebastian as compensation for discrimination. 

Realizing the promise of CRPD and disability discrimination law - strategic litigation and human rights enforcement (video and other documentation of the conference and seminars 24-25 November 2016)

English
Paul Lappalainen, Erdtman, Emil.  2017.  Realizing the promise of CRPD and disability discrimination law - strategic litigation and human rights enforcement (video and other documentation of the conference and seminars 24-25 November 2016).

On 24 and 25 November 2016, the Law as a Tool for Social Change project arranged a conference and two seminars on how civil society, through strategic litigation, can counteract discrimination against people with disabilities and contribute to case law and the changing of legal norms.

Konferensfilmer om strategiska rättsprocesser

Den 24 och 25 november 2016 höll projektet Lagen som verktyg en konferens och två seminarier om hur civilsamhället genom strategiska rättsprocesser kan motverka diskriminering av personer med funktionsnedsättning och driva på rättsutvecklingen.

Ett urval av filmer från de två dagarna har lagts ut. Videoinläggen är på engelska men textning finns.

Project funding granted "Using the law" (Med lagen som verktyg)

The Swedish Inheritance Fund approved funding for the three year project  "Using the law"  (Med lagen som verktyg) at it's October 2015 board meeting. Co-applicants are Handikappförbunden HSOApply Human RightsDHRSTIL, och Personskadeförbundet RTP.

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