Health Law, Symposium Submissions

“NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US”: The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its influence on Legal Capacity and Disability Rights in Canada – By: Brett Ryan Book



Author: Brett Ryan Book

‘Nothing about us without us’ is a slogan that signifies the belief that disability rights should not be created without including the voices of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations. It was this belief that allowed for the contributions of disabled persons in drafting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the “CRPD”). The CRPD, with its overarching ideal of equality, seeks to create a new international norm in disability rights by encouraging state parties who are signatory to adopt legislation that promotes the right to equal recognition, legal capacity, and supported decision-making. Canada has signed and ratified the treaty with its own reservations. However, as this paper argues, despite these reservations, the CRPD has the ability to transform disability rights in Canada through the influence of law reform agencies, disability advocates, and legal challenges through courts of competent jurisdiction.

Author Biography

Brett Ryan Book is from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada which sits on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe First Nations. He is a graduate of the Juris Doctor program at Thompson Rivers University School of Law in Kamloops, British Columbia in the unceded territory of the Secwepemc First Nation. Brett is a trained mediator and graduate of the Alternative Dispute Resolution program at Humber College as well as a former Support Staff member of the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic. Brett is also a Policy Officer with CanAge and sits on the Canadian Bar Association National Elder Law Committee as a Member-at-Large and the Social Media & Communications Coordinator. Brett is currently Articling with Whaley Estate Litigation Partners in Toronto, Ontario, a boutique firm providing expertise in Trusts and Estates litigation. In his spare time, he enjoys travelling with his partner Maggie and their adventurous beagle Ziggy and spending time with his parents Marcia and Phil and four brothers.


Published by The Canadian Bar Association: here.

Winner of the 2022 CBA Health Law Student Essay Contest.