Having evaluated the various aspects of the law through Steps 1 to 7, the final Step is to gather the results, evaluate the degree to which the law is true to the principles, and develop strategies for addressing any identified shortfalls.
Applying the Principles To Step 8
Note: “Law” here refers to law, policy and practice as appropriate.
It is not uncommon for laws to fall short of fully promoting or achieving the principles for persons with disabilities. After all, we live in a world of competing policy priorities and limited resources. However, the principle of dignity and worth reminds us that these shortfalls should occur only where truly unavoidable, and not as a matter of course or without serious consideration. Where an evaluation identifies a shortfall, it should be carefully assessed, and any determination that a shortfall cannot be immediately rectified should be made in a transparent and accountable manner.
International human rights law recognizes that not all rights can be immediately and fully attained: the legal principles of progressive realization and “respect, protect, fulfill” come into play in these circumstances, and can be applied in the context of this Framework. While laws may not completely fulfill all the principles, actual contraventions of the principles should be immediately addressed as a matter of priority. Further, where it is not possible to attain the principles immediately and fully in either the substance or the implementation of a particular law, concrete plans should be developed, with clear accountability and timelines, for fully realizing the principles over time.
QUESTIONS FOR CONSIDERATION IN APPLYING THIS STEP
1. In addition to meeting minimum standards required by the Charter, the Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, has consideration been given to whether going beyond these standards would both be feasible and would further promote the achievement of the principles?
2. For new laws, how does the law, overall, represent progress towards the full attainment of the principles?
3. Are there areas in which the substance or implementation of the law contravenes the principles? If so, what steps will be taken to ensure that the law does not undermine the principles?
4. Have issues or areas been identified where the principles are in tension? If so, has the tension been analyzed as proposed in Step 3, and the analysis and response clearly articulated and documented?
5. Are there areas in which the substance or implementation of the law falls short of fully achieving the principles? If so, can steps be taken to ensure immediate complete fulfillment of the principles?
6. If complete fulfillment of the principles cannot be achieved immediately, for example because of a shortage of resources, does the law move as far as possible at this time towards the fulfillment of the principles? Has a clear plan been made to address the shortfall over time? Does the plan include clear timelines and accountability for implementation?
7. Have the results of the evaluation and the decisions made in response to the results been fully documented and considered?
8. Are the results of the evaluation available to persons with disabilities, to the extent possible while respecting rights to confidentiality and privacy?
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