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Legal Capacity

Legal capacity may be understood as what a person is able to do within the framework of an existing legal system. This can include the right of access to law and legal independence to speak on one’s own behalf. It is the ability to make decisions for and take control over oneself. Various instruments have addressed the issue of legal capacity of persons with disabilities. The trend in recent years favours a supported decision-making regime over a substituted decision-making regime. This section introduces the concept and status of legal capacity in relation to the rights of persons with disabilities under different regimes (including the United Nations and other regional frameworks).

This section sets out legal and other resources on legal capacity. The legal resources are divided into the following categories:

  1. International resources, which are arranged by bodies.

  2. Domestic resources, which are arranged by countries.

Other resources include academic articles and advocacy and training materials relating to legal capacity.

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