Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The purpose of this convention is set out in Article 1 as: 'The purpose of the present Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity. Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.'
Any cases with a hyperlink to this legislation will automatically be added here. There may be other relevant cases without a hyperlink, so please check the mental health case law page.
- AH v West London MH NHS Trust  UKUT 74 (AAC) — (1) Once the threshold tests for establishing a right to a public hearing have been satisfied, Article 6 ECHR (reinforced by Article 13 CRPD) requires that a patient should have the same or substantially equivalent right of access to a public hearing as a non-disabled person who has been deprived of his liberty; such a right can only be denied a patient if enabling that right imposes a truly disproportionate burden on the state. (2) The threshold tests are: (a) is it consistent with the subjective and informed wishes of the applicant (assuming he is competent to make an informed choice)? (b) will it have an adverse effect on his mental health in the short or long term, taking account of the views of those treating him and any other expert views? (c) are there any other special factors for or against a public hearing? (d) can practical arrangements be made for an open hearing without disproportionate burden on the authority? (3) How the right to a public hearing can be ..→
- R (NM) v LB Islington  EWHC 414 (Admin),  MHLO 11 — A prisoner whose release was about to be considered by the Parole Board sought judicial review of the local authority's decision not to conduct a s47 NHSCCA 1990 needs assessment with a view to provision of accommodation and support services if he were released from prison. (1) The connection between the Parole Board's consideration of NM's particular case and his release was too 'conditional and speculative' to fall within s47, or within the pragmatic 'about to be in need' or 'may reasonably be considered to be liable' tests from the B case. (2) In other cases of discharge from hospital or prison it may be sufficiently clear that a person is likely in the very near future to be present in the area of the local authority. (3) Consideration of whether the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities can be relied upon.
Thomas Hammarberg, 'Rights-based approach needed in new law on legal capacity' (Irish Times, 1/3/12). This article argues that reform of the Southern Irish Lunacy Act 1871 should comply with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Anna Nilsson, 'Who gets to decide? Right to legal capacity for persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities' (Council of Europe, CommDH/IssuePaper(2012)2, 20/2/12). This paper sets out the following recommendations: (1) Ratify the UN CRPD and its Optional Protocol. (2) Review existing legislation on legal capacity in the light of current human rights standards and with particular reference to Article 12 CRPD. The review should identify and remedy possible flaws and gaps depriving persons with disabilities of their human rights in relation to legislation concerning, inter alia, guardianship, voting rights and compulsory psychiatric care and treatment. (3) Abolish mechanisms providing for full incapacitation and plenary guardianship. (4) Ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy the rights to property, including the right to inherit property and to control their own financial affairs, to family life, to consent to or reject medical interventions, to vote, to associate freely and to access justice on an equal basis with others. No one should be automatically deprived of these rights because of an impairment or disability or due to being subjected to guardianship. (5) Review judicial procedures to guarantee that a person who is placed under guardianship has the possibility to take legal proceedings to challenge the guardianship or the way it is administrated as long as guardianship regimes still remain valid. (6) End 'voluntary' placements of persons in closed wards and social care homes against the person’s will but with the consent of guardians or legal representatives. Placement in closed settings without the consent of the individual concerned should always be considered a deprivation of liberty and subjected to the safeguards established under Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights. (7) Develop supported decision-making alternatives for those who want assistance in making decisions or communicating them to others. Such alternatives should be easily accessible for those in need and provided on a voluntary basis. (8) Establish robust safeguards to ensure that any support provided respects the person receiving it and his or her preferences, is free of conflict of interests and is subject to regular judicial review. The individual concerned should have the right to participate in any review proceedings along with the right to adequate legal representation. (9) Create a legal obligation for governmental and local authorities, the judiciary, health care, financial, insurance and other service providers to provide reasonable accommodation to persons with disabilities who wish to access their services. Reasonable accommodation includes the provision of information in plain language and the acceptance of a support person communicating the will of the individual concerned. (10) Involve persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities and the organisations representing them actively in the process of reforming legislation on legal capacity and developing supported decision-making alternatives.
Piers Gooding, 'Change and Continuity: A Historical Overview of the Significance of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to Mental Health Law' (2014) 20(3) Web JCLI†