'Medical' model of disability

The UK’s disability legislation was and still is in large measure based on the ‘medical model’ of disability—i.e. disability is caused by a medical condition, which can be cured or treated or not as the case may be. Many disability discrimination experts reject this model, instead preferring the ‘social model’ which posits that functional disability is perpetuated by societal barriers. For example, someone who is wheelchair-bound will be disabled from enjoying theatre if there is no wheelchair access, but will not be disabled if such access is provided.

Court judgments

Court judgments are recorded in various ways, and most are also ‘reported, with added legal commentary. References may either be the neutral citation, referring only to the court judgment, or may be the reported citation which may not include the level of court. Most references included here are to the reported citation.

The hierarchy of the Courts in England and Wales is:

  • (a) Employment Tribunal
  • (b) Employment Appeal Tribunal (except in Northern Ireland)
  • (c) High Court
  • (d) Court of Appeal (Court of Session in Scotland)
  • (e) Supreme Court (replacing the House of Lords)
  • (f) European Court of Justice
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