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How should disability justice be conceptualised, not by orthodox human rights or capabilities approaches, but by a legal philosophy that mirrors an African relational community ideal? This book develops the first comprehensive answer to this question through the contemporary literature on African philosophy, which is relied upon to construct a legal philosophy of disability justice comprising of ethical ideals of community, human relationships and obligations. From these ideals, an African legal philosophy of disability justice is offered as a criterion for critically evaluating existing laws, legal and political institutions, as well as providing an ethical basis for creating new ones to ensure that they are inclusive to people with disabilities. In taking an alternative perspective on the subject, the book outlines and emphasises the need for a new public culture of obligations owed to people with disabilities, highlighting both the prospects and difficulties of achieving the ideal of disability justice that continues to elude the lived experiences of millions of Africans today.

Oche Onazi's An African Path to Disability Justice is the first book-length exploration of disability in the light of African ethics, as contrasted with the human rights and capabilities frameworks. Of particular interest are Onazi's thoughtful reflections on how various conceptions of community salient in African moral philosophy––including group-based, reciprocal and relational––bear on what we owe to the disabled.

--Thaddeus Metz, Distinguished Professor, University of Johannesburg

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
This chapter introduces the argument of the book. After distinguishing between African group-based and relational conceptions of community, the chapter argues that the latter, with certain modifications, offers a more attractive basis to develop a novel African legal philosophy of disability justice. Building on this foundation, the chapter outlines an African legal philosophy of disability justice comprised of ethical ideals of community, relationships and obligations. Although the scope of this book is limited to setting out as clearly as possible what the proposed African legal philosophy of disability justice would look like, the chapter introduces a civic and citizenship education agenda and a hypothecated tax scheme to concretely nurture and institutionalise a new public moral culture of obligations of people without disabilities to people with disabilities. The chapter concludes by outlining the structure of the book.
Oche Onazi

Chapter 2. Outline of an Alternative Research Agenda on Disability Justice

Abstract
This chapter outlines the central research question, justifications and main argument of the book. It introduces and defines the concept of disability justice and highlights how it is a neglected subject in the literature on African philosophy and African legal philosophy. After introducing the conventional lines along which the debate on disability justice proceeds in the literature on human rights and legal and political philosophy, the chapter outlines the problems that have given rise to the argument of this book resulting from African philosophy: the omission of people with disabilities from the literature on persons and community. This not only clarifies why African philosophy provides an appropriate context in which to explore these issues, but also justifies why the question of disability justice should be addressed through an African legal philosophy, even though questions about its meaning and existence remain unsettled. The chapter concludes by outlining the argument of the book.
Oche Onazi

Chapter 3. Disability Justice in an African Context: The Human Rights Approach

Abstract
This chapter discusses the human rights-based approach to disability justice through the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006 (the Convention or CRPD) and the emerging African regional disability human rights framework. Through anecdotes from Tanzania, South Africa, Mozambique, Ghana, Uganda, Malawi and Kenya, the chapter argues that it is not the absence of laws and policies that has been the obstacle to disability justice in Africa, but rather the inability of existing human rights laws and policies to challenge negative cultural beliefs and social perceptions of disability. The recently established Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa 2018 (the Protocol) presents a unique opportunity to address this gap. However, the chapter will raise doubts about whether the Protocol can make a meaningful impact on the lives of people with disabilities in Africa without a substantial revision to the order in which duties are presented and articulated in the regional instrument.
Oche Onazi

Chapter 4. Disability Justice in Legal and Political Philosophy: Is the Concept of Community a Missing Ideal?

Abstract
Despite isolated and unrelated antecedents, disability now features in the literature on justice in the leading tradition of legal and political philosophy. This chapter focuses on Martha Nussbaum’s capabilities approach, which is arguably the most important contribution to disability justice today. In discussing Nussbaum’s approach, the chapter focuses on whether it pays sufficient attention to the concept of community in the light of its centrality to the argument of this book. Although Nussbaum’s emphasis on the Aristotelian conception of person and the capability of affiliation implies an appreciation of the relational nature of human beings and the value of community, these features stand in tension with the political liberal and individualistic underpinnings of the capabilities approach. In contrast to scholars who have sought to expand the capabilities approach along robust group-based, collective or relational inclinations, the chapter argues that the reasons that have made it necessary to modify the approach point to the absence of and the need for a compelling and coherent alternative framework that systematically explains the advantages, as well as the law and policy implications of considering disability justice from a distinctly relational community ideal.
Oche Onazi

Chapter 5. Disability Justice in an African Legal Philosophical Context

Abstract
This chapter develops the central argument of the book. It proposes an African legal philosophy from a relational community ideal as a plausible and attractive way of defining disability justice. It argues that, although Africa’s rich customary and pluralist legal and intellectual heritage provides the most obvious foundation on which to define African legal philosophy, they are too heterogeneous and inherently descriptive to ground disability justice in necessary, sufficient, normative, general and universal terms. After demonstrating the difficulty with defining disability justice through Africa’s customary and pluralist heritage, the chapter outlines and defends a relational community conception of the ideal. Conceived as an African legal philosophy of disability justice, the proposal is offered as an alternative criterion for evaluating, criticising and modifying existing legal and political institutions, as well as for creating new ones to include and respond to the needs and dependencies of people with disabilities within the diverse communities across Africa.
Oche Onazi

Chapter 6. Disability Justice in Practice: Instituting a New Public Culture of Obligations

Abstract
This chapter considers how the African legal philosophy of disability justice can be translated into practice in contributing to the improvement of the community experience for people with disabilities. It does so by providing the outlines of a new public moral culture of stringent ethical and moral horizontal obligations owed to people with disabilities by people without disabilities. It argues that a new public moral culture of obligations is contingent on a moral and political educational agenda capable of nurturing special obligations owed to people with disabilities and other vulnerable citizens. An essential part of this reform agenda is predicated on moral and political citizenship education supported by a hypothecated tax scheme, both of which would provide a vehicle to concretise the kind of ethical and moral obligations foundational to African legal philosophy. It is argued that this would underscore the obligations incumbent on people without disabilities to treat others with compassion, especially people with disabilities, as a basic requirement of morality and justice that binds members of any political community.
Oche Onazi

Chapter 7. Conclusion

Abstract
This chapter reflects on the implications of the argument of this book. It commences by identifying the prospects and limitations of human rights and capability approaches to disability justice, which have made it necessary to explore an alternative approach through African philosophy and African legal philosophy. Although presented as an alternative to the leading approaches, the legal philosophy of disability justice is presented as an internal critique of the literature on African philosophy. The main contribution of this book is best understood as an attempt to remedy the absence of the figure of the disabled person in the literature on African philosophy. After providing further reasons why the book has relied upon the relational conception of community to develop its proposed legal philosophy of disability justice, the chapter discusses some of the salient features of the argument. It concludes by discussing issues that the book has tried to avoid and responds to some objections to the argument of the book, as well as considering its implications for practice.
Oche Onazi

Backmatter

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