Social law as it pertains to rehabilitation and disability law

Disability law, the central aims of which are rehabilitation, integration, and equal opportunity, is primarily codified in Volume IX of the German Social Code (FG “SGB IX”) - Rehabilitation and Integration of People with Disabilities. Secondarily, it comprises corresponding norms in other sections of the German Social Code. Lastly,  the following norms also fall under this rubric: state and federal equality and non-discrimination laws regarding people with disabilities, federal, state and European constitutional law (FG e.g., Article 3, paragraph 3, sentence 2 German Basic Law), and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which came into effect in Germany in 2009. In a broader sense, it is necessary to address the specific effects of all legal norms on people with disabilities.

Disability law must be treated as a cross-cutting issue within the legal community and in cooperation with other disciplines such as social medicine, public health, nursing, social and political sciences, orthopaedagogy and special education. Thus social law as it pertains to rehabilitation and disability law are part of rehabilitation science. Social law and social policy are responsible for the shaping of this part. It should be possible for people with disabilities to participate in research and social policy.

Rehabilitation, with its medical, occupational and social aspects, is an important feature of social services and facilities. There are many points of contact with medical treatment, care, and social work in general. Rehabilitation is frequently organized in cooperation with the civic involvement of self-help and voluntary charity work and should be embedded in local and general social policy. Rehabilitation is an important area of practice in social work.

In research and teaching, one should not only recognise the correct content of social law as it pertains to rehabilitation and disability law on the basis of norms and precedents, but also investigate it in practice. To fully understand the conditions and limitations of implementation and legal control functions, it is necessary to gain an insight into the relationships between social policy goals, social law norms, and social practice of the administrative bodies, care providers and people with disabilities themselves including their organisations. Legal scholars use the methods of social science to do this.

The department cooperates with other units at the University of Kassel and beyond that are interested in social law and social policy, particularly in social jurisprudence and rehabilitation sciences. It seeks to cooperate with associations for people with disabilities, rehabilitation administrative bodies, charities, and rehabilitation services and facilities.