Implementing Legal Capacity Under Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: The Difficult Road from Guardianship to Supported Decision-Making
19 Human Rights Brief, No. 2 (2012)
11 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2012
Date Written: April 6, 2012
This article addresses Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), Equal recognition before the law, and its emphasis on supported decision making as one way in which an individual's legal capacity can be facilitated. After briefly describing Article 12 and the important paradigm shift it reflects, I identify the move from guardianship, or substituted decision making, to supported decision making that Article 12 represents. I then examine some of the early submissions on Article 12 that States Parties have made to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, pointing out that several of these responses reflect a fundamental understanding of what supported decision making is. I conclude by noting some steps that states, NGOs, and people with disabilities can take to make it more likely that Article 12 will have more than rhetorical significance.
Keywords: Disability, human rights, legal capacity
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