Ilias Bantekas, Dimitris Anastasiou, Michael Ashley Stein
Edited By: Ilias Bantekas, Michael Ashley Stein, Dimitris Anastasiou
The idea behind a commentary on the CRPD was conceived in the summer of 2014. The plan was to produce a comprehensive article-by-article commentary analysis that would appeal to human rights lawyers, disability rights advocates, and all those involved with the rights and lived experiences of persons with disabilities, such as sociologists, educators, policy makers, and many others. This is a tall order because books nowadays are addressed to audiences of a particular expertise, with law books being particularly challenging for non-lawyers. Inter-disciplinarity, however, was not an aim in and of itself. The text of the CRPD, as well as its travaux, deals with several issues that cannot readily be explained by a legal analysis (although it is true that lawyers have a tendency to pull everything within the law!). This includes awareness-raising strategies, the social and medical models of disability, techniques for inclusive education, technical aspects of habilitation and rehabilitation, and many more. We have made a distinct effort to address pertinent issues through both legal and non-legal lenses, where possible, so as to provide a holistic analysis of the CRPD. This is unusual for legal commentaries and we leave it to our readers to assess whether and to what degree we have achieved our aim.
A book of this size would not have been possible without the dedication and professionalism of our contributors. Where a single chapter fails to meet our high quality standards or deadlines set by the editors, the entire project risks falling to disarray. This chain-like effect within commentaries make them complex and stressful on the part of the editors and contribute to their ageing process. The four years that we have spent on this project ensures that each chapter has gone through several rounds of comments, extensive discussions, changes, and attention to detail. Ultimately, it was well worth the effort. Although everyone involved in the writing of this book was engaged in their own discreet subject-matter we all, as a team, could see the broader picture, which was to bring together under a single volume existing scholarship, conclusions, best practices, but also conflicts arising from and within this field of law and policy.
We are particularly grateful to our families for putting up with us during the course of this long journey. The Bantekas family was enriched with two more children along the way, bringing the total tally to four (we really think we should stop there). Between what seems like endless nappies, sleepless nights, and mastering to write with one hand while cradling a vomiting baby with the other, several chapters were miraculously written and many others edited. I would like to thank them all for their patience, starting with my amazing wife Eleni and my four kids, Stefanos, Zoe (my little ZaZa), Thalia, and Athanasia (Nasia). The Stein Muses—the heroic Penelope, jubilant Sophie, and sublime Ariella—accommodated many editing sessions at unseemly hours with supreme kindness; I acknowledge my deep gratitude even if I cannot adequately thank them. Anastasiou’s partner Domna and son Orfeas, who watched the gestation of the project with patience, understanding, delightful distractions, and critical remarks; I am deeply grateful to them. Finally, we only imagine the relief of all our significant others, when this book, at last, leaves our hands.
The three editors wish to thank Merel Alstein and Natasha Flemming from OUP who believed in the project from the outset, commissioning several experts to provide their comments and expertise at the review stage, which significantly helped us shape its structure and direction. As always, Oxford’s copy-editing has been impeccable, with attention to detail being key to the final production of the book. We also wish to thank Kimberly Marsh who undertook this process from submission to print. Although we have made every possible effort to eliminate the likelihood of mistakes, this is not possible for a book of this size. The editors welcome comments and suggestions from their readership. [Please note: At the time this book was going to press, the UN Enable website migrated. Users are advised to replace ‘www’ with ‘static’ in the URL. In addition the access date for website sources cited in this book is 10 January 2018 unless otherwise stated in the individual footnote.](p. xxxii)