Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Amnesty International CDLP Seminar on Legal Capacity

The Centre for Disability Law and Policy (NUI Galway) and Amnesty International (Ireland) held a seminar today on getting legal capacity law right.  The seminar heard from Oliver Lewis from MDAC who spoke about the CRPD in international Best Practice on legal capacity law.  Christine Gordon who spoke about the lessons from British Columbia on supported decision-making.  Professor Gerard Quinn spoke about the challenges in realising supported decision-making.  The seminar was chaired by Colm O’Gorman the Executive Director, Amnesty International (Ireland) and was addressed by Kathleen Lynch the Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People.  The seminar can e viewed here:  

One of the really interesting aspects of the seminar was the contribution from the “experts through experience” who spoke of their perspectives on legal capacity when decision-making is called into question.  Mary Farrell spoke about her experience in terms of her son who was made a Ward of Court following a High Court Award of damages for an acquired brain injury.  Paul Alford spoke about his experience of moving from an institutional setting to living independently in the community and making his own decisions about how he lived his life.  Bill Lloyd an advocate for older persons spoke about the deficiencies of Irish law in respecting the decision-making of one of his clients who was diagnosed with dementia.  Jim Walsh shared his experience and perspectives on decision-making and persons seen as having a mental health problem.