Ireland's ratification of the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities: challenges and opportunities

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Abstract

Summary

Ireland was amongst the first signatories of the CRPD on the 30th of March 2007. The Irish government has stated that the barrier to ratification of the Convention is Ireland's out-dated wards of court system which, upon a finding of incapacity, removes all decision-making rights (legal capacity) from an individual. This paper examines the implications of Article 12 of the CRPD which prohibits the removal of a person's legal capacity and instead requires the provision by States Parties of the supports necessary to ensure that a person can exercise their legal capacity on an equal basis with others. The paper charts the progress towards ratification by analysing the proposals for reform pre-CRPD, focusing on the reform of the law on legal capacity as well as the advocacy of civil society organisations on this issue. It concludes with setting out and commenting on government statements on the content of the forthcoming published legislation and makes tentative remarks based on this. The reason for focusing on legal capacity reform is that this is the only issue which has been highlighted by government as a barrier to Ireland's ratification of the CRPD.

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