2 March 2012, Budapest (Hungary) and London (UK). The UK’s reputation as a country which empowers people with disabilities is “in jeopardy” following an in-depth Parliamentary inquiry.

23 February 2012. MDAC’s Executive Director, Oliver Lewis, was in Australia this week attending several meetings on the interface between torture, detention and people with disabilities.

21 February 2012, Budapest and Prague. Yesterday, the Czech President signed a new Civil Code into law. The new law follows a 7 year campaign by civil society organisations, advocating for changes to the guardianship law.

20 February 2012, Budapest. Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, has today issued a comment and an issue paper on the right to legal capacity. Hammarberg calls for reform of guardianship systems which he says are “out-dated and in urgent need of reform” in the “bulk” of European countries.

MDAC held a three-day workshop on litigating the rights of persons with psycho-social and intellectual disabilities in Kampala, Uganda from 2-4 February.  The need to build capacity of lawyers on the rights of people with psycho-social disabilities and people with intellectual disabilities has always been highlighted in MDAC’s discussions with organisations of persons with disabilities and some lawyers in African countries.

In a victory for the rights of persons deprived of legal capacity and placed in institutions by their guardians, the Czech Ombudsman issued an opinion in a case brought by MDAC and its partner organisation in the Czech Republic stating that this practice violates human rights. 

On 19 December 2011 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a new Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This will enable children to make a legal complaint to the UN if their CRC rights have been violated and if they have taken their complaint through domestic legal procedures. 

On 16 - 17 December 2011, MDAC participated at the “Regional Consultation for Europe on Prevention of Torture and Protection of Victims of Torture – Especially Persons Deprived of their Liberty” held at the UN in Geneva. The consultation aimed to identify concrete steps and forms of cooperation between international, regional, and national actors in the field.

19 December 2011. On Saturday the Venice Commission (an influential group of constitutional law experts) amended one of its key documents. In doing so it reversed an anomaly which allowed countries to exclude people with “genuine mental disabilities” from the ballot box.


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