Seminar: Sterilisation of Women with Disability, International Human Rights Law and (the Failure of) Australian Law Reform


12.30 – 1.30pm, Wednesday 9 November 2016

Building 67, Room 202 (Moot Court)

University of Wollongong

Linda Steele is a lecturer in the School of Law and a member of Legal Intersections Research Centre, University of Wollongong, Australia. She was recently a visiting researcher at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University during September-October 2016.

Feminist disability scholars and women’s disability rights advocates in Australia and elsewhere have argued for the prohibition of sterilisation of women with disability. Yet this practice remains legal when consented to by a substitute decision maker or pursuant to the doctrine of necessity. In these legal circumstances sterilisation does not constitute an offence under criminal law and it is not compensable under civil law – sterilisation is a form of disability-specific lawful violence.

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