Publication Details

L. Steele & S. Thomas, 'Disability at the periphery: legal theory, disability and criminal law' (2014) 23 (3) Griffith Law Review 357-369.


This special issue of the Griffith Law Review is dedicated to an examination of the relationships and intersections between disability, criminal law and legal theory. Despite the centrality of disability to the doctrines, operation and reform of criminal law, disability continues to inhabit a marginal location in legal theoretical engagement with criminal law. This special issue proceeds from a contestation of disability as an individual, medical condition and instead explores disability's social, political and cultural contexts. This kind of approach directs critical attention to questioning many aspects of the relationships between disability and criminal law which have otherwise been taken for granted or overlooked in legal scholarship. These aspects include the differential treatment of people with disability by criminal law, the impact of core legal concepts such as capacity on criminal legal treatment of people with disability, and the role of disability in ordering and legitimising criminal law. It is hoped that the special issue will contribute to the shifting of disability from its peripheral location in legal theoretical scholarship much more to the centre of critical and political engagement with criminal law.



Link to publisher version (DOI)