1st Edition

Global Perspectives on Legal Capacity Reform
Our Voices, Our Stories

ISBN 9781138298910
Published July 19, 2018 by Routledge
242 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

This edited collection is the result of the Voices of Individuals: Collectively Exploring Self-determination (VOICES) based at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, National University of Ireland Galway. Focusing on the exercise of legal capacity under Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the stories of people with disabilities are combined with responses from scholars, activists and practitioners, addressing four key areas: criminal responsibility, contracts, consent to sex, and consent to medical treatment. Sustainable law and policy reforms are set out based on the storytellers’ experiences, promoting a recognition of legal capacity and supported decision-making. The perspectives are from across a wide range of disciplines (including law, sociology, nursing, and history) and 13 countries.

The volume is a valuable resource for researchers, academics and legislators, judges or policy makers in the area of legal capacity and disability. It is envisaged that the book will be particularly useful for those engaged in legal capacity law reform processes worldwide and that this grounded work will be of great interest to legislators and policy makers who must frame new laws on supported decision making in compliance with the UNCRPD.

Table of Contents


About the Project


Notes on Contributors

1 Theoretical Framework

Clíona de Bhailís

2 Project Methodology & Background

Eilionóir Flynn

Part 1: Criminal Responsibility – Diversion & the Insanity Defence

3 Introduction to Criminal Responsibility

Anna Arstein-Kerslake

4 Going to pot: Nick’s journey through the criminal justice system

Nicholas Clarke, Chloe Hocking and Nell Munro

5 Questions of Criminal Culpability and Persons with Disabilities

Amita Dhanda and Gabor Gombos

6 Conclusion: Criminal Responsibility

Anna Arstein-Kerslake

Part 2: Contractual Capacity – Inheritance, Property & Everyday Decision Making

7 Introduction to Contractual Capacity

Clíona de Bhailís

8 I have the strength to speak up for myself

Nikona nguvu ya kujiongelelea.

Joy Rehema and Emer O’Shea

9 Silenced, Alone, Powerless: My Life as a Ward of Court in Ireland

Claire Hendrick and Donna Mc Namara

10 "The law is very complicated…"

Dermot Lowndes and Jan Strnad

11 Travel and dementia: one story, many rights.

Helen Rochford Brennan and Moira Jenkins

12 Consumer Law, Contracts & Support: I had one dream – to buy a simple smartphone

Marieta Petrova and Aylin Yumerova

13 From Institutional Life to Home Ownership: a personal story demonstrating the power of support to enable the exercise of legal capacity

Paul Alford and Michelle Browning

14 Conclusion: Contractual Capacity

Clíona de Bhailís

Part 3: Relationships and Consent to Sex

15 Introduction to Relationships and Consent to Sex

María Laura Serra

16 Marriage and Intellectual Disability in Ireland: "My sister is married, why can’t I get married?"

Maria Mahony and Sarah Richardson

17 Dreaming of traveling – Dreaming of freedom: Relationships and the Right to Support

Ronnie Harris and Jana Offergeld

18 Conclusion: Relationships and Consent to Sex

María Laura Serra

Part 4: Consent to Medical Treatment – Mental Health & Forced Treatment

19 Introduction to Consent to Medical Treatment

Eilionóir Flynn

20 This is Not a Story: From Ethical Loneliness to Respect for Diverse Ways of Knowing, Thinking and Being

Cath Roper and Piers Gooding

21 Getting sucked out of that black hole termed India’s legal mental health machinery

Lavanya Seshayee and Maths Jesperson

22 Consent is More than Just Yes or No

Fiona Anderson and Bo Chen

23 The Humour in my Tumour: Respecting Legal Capacity in Health Care Decision Making

Reshma Vallippan and Roxanne Mykitiuk

24 Conclusion: Consent to Medical Treatment

Eilionóir Flynn

25 Freedom: A Work in Progress

Rusi Stanev and Sheila Wildeman

26 Overall Conclusion

Eilionóir Flynn


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Eilionóir Flynn is Senior Lecturer at the School of Law and Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, National University of Ireland Galway. She is the Principal Investigator of the VOICES project, funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant. She holds a Ph.D. and B.C.L. from University College Cork. Her current research interests are in the areas of legal capacity, disability advocacy, access to justice, and the intersectionality of gender, disability and ageing.

Anna Arstein-Kerslake is a Senior Lecturer in the Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne and the Academic Co-ordinator of the Disability Research Initiative (DRI). She has developed and co-ordinates the Disability Human Rights Clinic (DHRC) at Melbourne Law School. She holds a Ph.D. in Law from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), a J.D. from the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law and a B.A. in Sociology from San Diego State University (SDSU).

Clíona de Bhailís is a Research Assistant at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, National University of Ireland Galway working on the VOICES project. She graduated with first class honours from the LL.M in Public Law in NUI Galway in 2013 and wrote a minor thesis in the area of legal capacity and access to justice for people with disabilities.

Maria Laura Serra is a Research Associate/Postdoctoral Researcher at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, National University of Ireland, Galway. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Rights from Charles III University of Madrid (Spain), a Master's degree in Advanced Studies in Human Rights from the same University and a Law degree from the National University of Mar del Plata (Argentina).