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Hasan Bermek Office of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights www.commissioner.coe.int Copenhagen, 8 June 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Hasan Bermek Office of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights www.commissioner.coe.int Copenhagen, 8 June 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hasan Bermek Office of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Copenhagen, 8 June 2012

2 Overview: Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Independent, impartial, non-judicial institution established in 1999 Promotes awareness of and respect for human rights in the 47 member states Elected for a non-renewable term of 6 years (Nils Muižnieks since April 2012)

3 Overview Country monitoring Thematic work NHRSs and HRDs Awareness Raising

4 Commissioners recent work on disability Human Rights comment on the right to vote Issue Paper on Legal Capacity Issue paper on Community Living

5 Why is legal capacity important? affects all significant life choices taken for granted for every adult, but questioned for people with disabilities s of individuals with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities affected in Europe

6 Substituted decision making – false premises The idea of a Rational and reasonable person is a myth Everyone relies on external support to make decisions Everyone has a right to take risks, make mistakes, and learn from them (or not)

7 Problems with substituted decision making discriminatory disrespectful and paternalistic fosters dependency and helplessness facilitates abuse and neglect creates stigma violates agreed human rights standards!

8 Relevant human rights standards Article 12 of the CRPD European Convention on Human Rights (and the case-law of the Strasbourg court) – Shtukaturov v. Russia (plenary guardianship) – Stanev v. Bulgaria (partial guardianship) Other Council of Europe standards

9 Commissioners Recommendations to member states(1/2) Review legislation on legal capacity; Abolish full incapacitation/plenary guardianship; Prevent automatic deprivation of rights because of a disability; Guarantee the right to challenge guardianship effectively; End voluntary placements against the persons will;

10 Commissioners Recommendations to member states(2/2) Develop supported decision making alternatives; Robust safeguards to ensure that support: – respects the recipients and their preferences; – is free of conflicts of interests; – is subject to regular and fair judicial review; Service providers must provide reasonable accommodation; Involve persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities in the reform process.


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