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Legal capacity and access to justice for persons with disabilities

Reflections on Art 12 and 13 UN CRPD: The

Equality before the law is a basic general principle of human rights protection and is indispensable for the exercise of other human rights. Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) describes the content of this civil right and focuses on the areas in which people with disabilities have traditionally been denied it. Based on the initial reports of the different States parties that it has reviewed so far, the CRPD Committee observes that there is a general misunderstanding of the exact scope of the obligations of States parties under article 12 of the Convention. Indeed, there has been a general failure to understand that the human rights-based model of disability implies a shift from the substitute decision-making paradigm to one that is based on supported decision-making.Recognition of legal capacity is inextricably linked to the enjoyment of many other human rights provided for in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, including, but not limited to, the right to access justice (art. 13). The rights provided for in article 12 are also closely tied to the right to accessibility (art. 9) because the right to equal recognition before the law is necessary to enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life. The right to accessibility guarantees the identification and elimination of barriers to facilities or services open or provided to the public. To the extent that such barriers include recognition of legal capacity, the right to accessibility overlaps and is sometimes dependent upon the realisation of the right to legal capacity.Given the importance of these issues and the need of further clarification, ONCE Foundation, Aequitas Foundation and the EFC Consortium of Foundations on Human Rights and Disability have joined forces to convene a discussion that will take place at Philanthropy House in Brussels on 27 March 2014.Together with a roundtable on legal capacity and its real and effective implementation, another roundtable will be organised around the access to justice and its link with accessibility. The CRPD Committee will meet in Geneva prior to this conference and their members will brief the participants of this event with the latest discussions in light of the Draft General comment on Article 12. Together with the CRPD Committee experts, the event will include representatives from academia, the EU institutions, legal experts, foundations and disability organisations.


27 Mar 2014 @ 09:00 am

27 Mar 2014 @ 04:30 pm

Duration: 7 hours, 30 minutes


Philanthropy House

Rue Royale 94


Organised by

European Foundation Centre

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