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Towards access to justice and full legal capacity for people with an intellectual disability in Europe

The partners of the project AJuPID - Access to justice for people with intellectual disabilities - co-financed by the European Union and coordinated by FEGAPEI recently published a research report, which highlights the interdependence of policy and legal protection's legislation on the one hand, and access to justice for people on the other.


Access to justice and the exercise of legal capacity of persons with intellectual disabilities under conditions of equality are fundamental aspects of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD Articles 12 and 13) since they constitute guarantees for the exercise of other rights mentioned in the CRPD.


AJuPID project aims to improve the implementation of Articles 12 and 13 of the CRPD, including professional practices, but also to all persons likely to assume the role of support of legal capacity.


The first phase of AJuPID just ended with the official publication of the research report establishing a comparative analysis of the legal systems of Bulgaria, Finland, France, Hungary and Ireland. In this report, the researchers show that the calling into question of the legal capacity of persons with intellectual disabilities, including through measures of legal protection is not inconsequential, particularly in a context where few "amenities reasonable "are available to improve access to justice.


Today, of the countries governments are reluctant on how to fully realize the "paradigm shift" posed by the CRPD, making the transition from a surrogate decision making system to a supported decision-making system. This is also the case in France, which is far from alone in this situation.

Several study visits, including one in France, show that it is possible, and desirable, new forms of support to emerge to support people in everyday life in the exercise of their rights and the use of their legal capacity.


The release of a guide including promising practices, European examples on the matter, is scheduled for autumn 2015. A seminar for magistrates and court clerks on "Legal capacity and access to justice for people with intellectual disabilities" is scheduled on 10 December 2015. The round tables and discussions will focus on the daily practice of the legal profession in relation to Articles 12 and 13 of the CRPD.


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