This article is a commentary on Michael Ashley Stein & Janet Lord, Jacobus TenBroek, Participatory Justice, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, - Tex. J. Civ Lib. & Civ. Rts. - (2008) (in press). In it, I seek to expand their analysis of the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in an effort to invigorate an area of institutionalized patients rights law that is now nearly forgotten: the rights of such persons to exercise civil rights while institutionalized. I also argue that Prof. Stein and Ms. Lord's paper should lead us to focus also on the issues of attitudes, and how authentic amelioration and law reform in this area is impossible unless and until we begin to consider how negative and stereotypical attitudes towards persons with mental disabilities are formed and perpetuated. I conclude that the demand for participatory justice for persons with disabilities cannot be satisfied unless and until we turn our attention to attitudinal issues.
Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights, Vol. 13, Issue 2 (Spring 2008), pp. 413-420