OCRN Series: Marie Spinoy and Inclusive Education in the Council of Europe

Event date
18 January 2023
Event time
13:00 - 14:00
Oxford week
HT 1
Bonavero Institute of Human Rights & Zoom

Marie Spinoy, Researcher at the Leuven Centre for Public Law (KU Leuven)

Notes & Changes

This event will be hybrid. Please register here to attend via Zoom.

This event is organised by the Oxford Children's Right Network and is part of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights Network Series.

Inclusive Education in the Council of Europe: Lessons Learned on the Enforcement of Education Rights for Children with Disabilities

Around the world, the right to education all too often is not guaranteed for children with disabilities on an equal basis with their peers without disabilities. Yet this right is a ‘multiplier right’, crucial in opening doors to further societal participation and personal development and in facilitating and increasing the awareness and enjoyment of other human rights. Moreover, it is strongly enshrined in international human rights law through the right to inclusive education in Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). But what avenues of enforcement are open to learners with disabilities when this right is infringed in a state that has committed itself to the UN CRPD?

In this presentation, Marie Spinoy will consider two potential roads for redress in case of a violation of the right to inclusive education. Honing in on the Council of Europe, she will discuss and compare the relevant case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the European Committee of Social Rights. Both bodies have seen an increasing number of cases in this area coming before them, prompting them to develop their own standards under the European Convention on Human Rights and the (Revised) European Social Charter. In doing so, both claim to rely on the UN CRPD as a benchmark. Despite the fact that both are applying seemingly similar principles, the outcomes of and emphases in their respective reasoning contain marked differences. After a brief repetition of what the right to inclusive education entails according to the UN CRPD standards, the presentation teases out the convergence and divergence that can be noted in the relevant case law of the Court and the Committee. The presentation then considers whether these correspond to the UN CRPD (to the same extent) and what obstacles plaintiffs can expect taking either of these paths to enforce their right to inclusive education.


Photo of Marie Spinoy

Marie Spinoy is a researcher at the Leuven Centre for Public Law (KU Leuven), where she is currently finalising her PhD project on the role of intentions in anti-discrimination law. With Professor Kurt Willems, she has completed research on various aspects of the right to inclusive education as enshrined in the UN CRPD. Previous papers in this area include  Inclusive Education in Strasbourg: Still Learning?’ (European Yearbook on Human Rights 2020) and ‘G.L. v. Italy: the Ambiguous role of article 14 ECHR in Inclusive Education Cases’ (International Journal of Discrimination and the Law).

Found within

Human Rights Law