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Tue, 19 Jul


Disability and the Human Rights Act (Recording Now Available)

The panel will explore the role of the HRA on the lives of disabled people, the consequences and opportunities of repealing it.

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Disability and the Human Rights Act (Recording Now Available)
Disability and the Human Rights Act (Recording Now Available)

Time & Location

19 Jul 2022, 18:00

About the event

The UK Government is proposing to “replace the Human Rights Act (HRA) with a modern Bill of Rights” and the issue is currently under consultation. The HRA is a unique piece of legalisation because it provides direct access to the European Convention of Human Rights through British courts. Public bodies also must consider human rights. The HRA has played a significant role in safeguarding the rights of disabled people who find themselves under the protection of the state, whether that be through mental health provisions, health and social care or the criminal justice system.

July is Disability Pride Month, which is an apt reminder of the need for acceptance, the removal of disabling practices and the protection of rights. This Disability Pride Month, we will explore the role of the HRA on the lives of disabled people, the consequences of repealing it and the opportunities that could follow.


Daniel Holt

Daniel is a future Pupil Barrister at 39 Essex Chambers. He is also the Founding Chair of the Association of Disabled Lawyers (‘ADL’), which was the first independent, pan-profession organisation of people working in and studying law with impairments and physical and mental health conditions. The ADL is a community and network raising awareness of the fact that disabled people and people with health conditions can study and practice law. It also champions the welfare and rights of disabled people and people with health conditions in wider society. It achieves its aims through engagement, events, campaigning and research.

Daniel was educated in special needs schools and is a seasoned disability rights activist. He has engaged with the Bar Standards Board, Legal Services Board, Solicitors Regulatory Authority, and many other organisations to help improve the experiences of lawyers and students with health conditions. He was a Disability Rights UK Trustee until 31st December 2019 when his second term came to an end. Daniel was ‘highly commended’ at the European Diversity Awards 2018 and is a recipient of Middle Temple’s Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Award, Blackstone Exhibition Award and Certificate of Honour. He had previously received a Campaign of the Year Award for his work on improving accessibility.

Svetlana Kotova

Svetlana is a disabled lawyer who has spent many years fighting for the rights of Disabled people. She currently works for Inclusion London and managed their Disability Justice Project, and now leads the Policy, Campaigns and Justice team. Over the last 12 years she has worked in various advice and policy roles, enabling Disabled people to fight for their rights at local and international level. Svetlana is passionate about ensuring Disabled people have equal rights and can use the law effectively to tackle discrimination and social injustice.

Kamran Mallick

Kamran Mallick joined Disability Rights UK as its Chief Executive in July 2017. He is the former Chief Executive of Action on Disability, the Hammersmith-based disability organisation, where he worked for 13 years. Kamran has also worked for the spinal injury charity Aspire as well as running his own training and consultancy business. He serves on the boards of the Lyric Hammersmith, Wheels for Wellbeing and Lloyds Bank Foundation. He is a former chair of Candoco dance company and board member of Inclusion London. He is also a member of Gatwick Airport Passenger Experience Group and a former member of Transport for London’s Independent Disability Advisory Group. Kamran was included in the Shaw Trusts Powerlist 100 - Most influential disabled people in 2018 and was in the top 10 in 2020.

Louise Whitfield

Louise Whitfield worked at the Public Law Project and Deighton Pierce Glynn, specialising in judicial review and discrimination cases, before taking up the position of Head of Legal Casework at Liberty. She is one of the leading practitioners on the public sector equality duty and has worked closely with the women's sector and Deaf and Disabled People's Organisations on a number of human rights issues affecting them and their service-users.

Steve Broach

Steve Broach is a public lawyer who advises and represents individuals, charities, companies and public authorities. He has particular interest and expertise in health, education and social care, with a focus on disability and children’s rights cases. His practice ranges from commercial judicial reviews to challenges to funding cuts to public services. Steve also has a regulatory public law practice involving challenges to decisions of regulatory bodies and the police.

Steve is a discrimination specialist who is experienced in using discrimination arguments in public law challenges. For example in the recent case involving Mr and Mrs C he persuaded the Upper Tribunal that the application of the ‘tendency to physical abuse’ exemption from the protection of the Equality Act 2010 breached Article 14 ECHR when applied to children with autism. Steve is a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission ‘A’ Panel of counsel.

Steve is instructed in the High Court and above in applications for judicial review, in the Court of Protection for cases involving the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and in the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal in education and other appeals. He also has significant expertise in advising clients on safeguarding issues in relation to both children and adults.

Steve is ranked in four categories by Chambers and Partners, including in Band 1 for Community Care and Education. Steve has appeared in a large number of reported cases, including many of the Supreme Court cases on disability issues. Steve was awarded Young Barrister of the Year at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2011 and ‘Future Leader: Diversity & Inclusion’ at the Chambers UK Bar Awards 2021.

Steve is co-author of Disabled Children: A Legal Handbook (Legal Action Group, Third Edition, 2020) and Children in Need: Local Authority Support for Children and Families (Legal Action Group, Second Edition, 2013). He wrote the chapter on the Independent Safeguarding Authority (now Disclosure and Barring Service) in Professional Discipline and Healthcare Regulators: A Legal Handbook (Legal Action Group, 2012). Steve is an editor of the Community Care Law Reports, published by Legal Action Group.

Before coming to the Bar in 2008, Steve worked extensively in the voluntary sector on behalf of disabled children and disabled adults. From 2006 to 2008, Steve was Campaign Manager for the Every Disabled Child Matters campaign (EDCM). From 2004-2006, Steve was Head of Public Affairs at TreeHouse, the national charity for autism education. Prior to this, Steve established the policy and campaigns team at the National Autistic Society, where he was Head of Policy and Campaigns.

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