Conway welcomes reform of law on mental capacity

Fine Gael National Press Office

Statement by Senator Martin Conway

Clare

Thursday, December 20th 2012

Conway welcomes reform of law on mental capacity

Fine Gael Senator and Seanad Spokesperson on Disability and Equality, Martin Conway, has today (Thursday) welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD, that he expects to submit the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Bill 2012 to Government for approval to publish early in the New Year.

“The enactment of this Bill will bring about the long awaited reform of the law on mental capacity and will be an important step towards ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which gives explicit recognition to the human rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.

“The Convention aims to remove barriers and create favourable conditions for the equal enjoyment of rights. Most of the substantive articles in this Bill tackle these obstacles by creating targeted obligations. For example, article 24 on the right to education effectively requires inclusive education.

“The Convention also establishes disability, not only as a social welfare matter, but as a human rights issue and a matter of law. The core elements of the Government’s disability strategy – which combines anti-discrimination, equal opportunities and active inclusion measures – are reflected in the Convention. The rights recognised by the Convention cover almost all policy fields from justice to transport, employment to information technology, and social to health policy. Accordingly, implementation of the Convention needs to be part of a strategic approach to disability.

“I welcome the Government’s approach to ensure that all key reforms necessitated by the Convention are in place in advance of ratification of the Treaty so that the reforms introduced will make a real difference in the lives of persons with disabilities. It also fulfils a key commitment by Fine Gael and Labour in the Programme for Government.”

ENDS

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