Developing juridical method for overcoming status subordination in disablism: The place of transformative epistemologie

Authors Charles Ngwena

ISSN: 1996-2126
Affiliations: Professor, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
Source: South African Journal on Human Rights, Volume 30 Issue 2, 2014, p. 275 – 312


The article contributes towards the development of a disability-conscious jurisprudence of equality that, in Nancy Fraser’s parlance, speaks to overcoming the ‘status subordination’ of disabled people. It uses transformative epistemologies of disability found in the social model of disability and feminism as synergic philosophical resources for imagining an expansive and democratic juridical domain of equality. Ultimately, it appropriates the epistemologies to construct syncretic legal method — disability method — as a normative approach for interrogating and remedying disability-related discrimination and inequality. In the process, the article explores the capacity of transformative epistemologies to enrich rather than supplant the jurisprudence of substantive equality developed by the South African Constitutional Court.