The Support Model of Legal Capacity: Fact, Fiction, or Fantasy?
20 Pages Posted: 13 May 2016
Date Written: 2014
In this Article, we explore a plausible legal framework within which to ground a support model of legal capacity and fully replace regimes of substituted decision-making. We ground our argument in the lived experience of people labeled with a disability. We focus particularly on individuals with cognitive disabilities, as they are generally more likely to have their decision-making ability called into question, and consequently, to have their legal capacity denied. However, we claim that such a system of support will ultimately benefit all individuals, not just persons with disabilities. The Article further examines reform efforts underway and the contributions of legislative change and judicial activism. Since the entry into force of the CRPD, many countries have begun to reform their laws on legal capacity, as described below in Section III. While significant challenges remain to ensure the full replacement of substitute decision-making regimes, international developments described in Sections III and IV, are clearly trending towards the recognition of support to exercise legal capacity.
Keywords: disabilities, support
JEL Classification: K00, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation