Assistive Technology as Support for the Exercise of Legal Capacity

(2015) 29(2-3) International Review of Law Computers and Technology 245–265

Posted: 13 Dec 2018

See all articles by Piers M. Gooding

Piers M. Gooding

Melbourne Social Equity Institute; University of Melbourne - Melbourne Law School

Anna Arstein-Kerslake

University of Melbourne - Law School

Eilionóir Flynn

National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG); University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Date Written: January 1, 2015

Abstract

Exercising legal capacity refers to engaging in legal transactions and relationships and is essential for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in society. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has enumerated the right to legal capacity on an equal basis and has created a state obligation to provide access to support for the exercise of legal capacity. This article examines the use of assistive devices as support for decision-making in exercising legal capacity for individuals with physical and cognitive impairments; for example, the use of voice recognition programmes, screen readers, and screen enlargement applications to support people with mobility and sensory impairments to use online portals essential for legal actions such as banking. It also discusses the experimental use of cognitive assistance, including computer or electrical assistive devices, to facilitate communication for people with cognitive impairments including those with no external signs of consciousness. It highlights the diversity of options for ‘support for the exercise of legal capacity’ showing how they can assist people with various disabilities. Finally, the article examines the boundaries of the state obligation to provide such support, including issues of practical implementation and resource allocation.

Keywords: Legal Capacity, Assistive Technology, Supported Decision-Making, United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities

Suggested Citation

Gooding, Piers Michael and Arstein-Kerslake, Anna and Flynn, Eilionóir, Assistive Technology as Support for the Exercise of Legal Capacity (January 1, 2015). (2015) 29(2-3) International Review of Law Computers and Technology 245–265. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3288241

Piers Michael Gooding (Contact Author)

Melbourne Social Equity Institute ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia
+6183440910 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.findanexpert.unimelb.edu.au/display/person26598

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Law School ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Melbourne, VIC 3010
Australia

Anna Arstein-Kerslake

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

Eilionóir Flynn

National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) ( email )

University Road
Galway, Co. Kildare
Ireland

University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

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