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21 September 2016

Disability and the death penalty

Despite a clear ban on the death penalty in international law, countries continue to use this abusive practice. What are the implications for people with disabilities? And can the CRPD help restrict the application of the death penalty?
14 March 2016

Why should Bulgaria change its guardianship system?

Last week I was in Bulgaria and with colleagues we met members of the Government, the Parliament, the Ombudsman Office, the Supreme Court and civil society. I focused my visit on the draft law which would abolish guardianship for people with disabilities and introduce supported decision-making. MDAC’s interest is that we have litigated the two leading European cases against Bulgaria, and have been working with NGOs on the law reform process. I was invited to give a speech to an international conference on Friday that argued why all sectors of Bulgarian society should get behind the draft law.
15 September 2015

Provoking a mental health revolution in Buenos Aires

Argentina’s mental health system needs shaking up. I spent a few days with its savvy public defenders. They’re ideally-placed to create legal havoc.
3 June 2015

Access to justice for children with mental disabilities

Our Executive Director spoke today at a seminar in Brussels on Children’s Access to Justice, jointly organised by Unicef and the EU Fundamental Rights Agency. Here’s what he said.
access to justice / EU / EC / FRA
27 October 2014

A legal capacity revolution is possible – if we consider the difficult cases

I have been asked to try and bridge the gap between human rights, governments and service provider communities. Jan asked me to offer some critical reflections about – his words – the 'human rights tribe' – and what they (we) need to do to bring about the legal capacity revolution.
10 October 2014

Slow progress on community living in Central and Eastern Europe

Today on World Mental Health Day, MDAC has published snapshot reports on three countries where we have been working for many years: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, and Hungary. The reports provide NGOs and governments with clear evidence that all three countries are falling short on their commitments to shift people with mental health issues and people with intellectual disabilities out of institutions and into communities.
2 May 2014

Meeting Yusuf

In 2010 my colleague Eyong went to Kenya to find out what the top issues for people with disabilities were. There, he met with lots of great NGOs like Users and Survivors of Psychiatry Kenya, and the Kenyan Association of People with Intellectual Handicap. They told him about how people with disabilities were constricted in their lives because their relatives and their community treated them as children, taking decisions for them, in their purported best interests.
23 April 2014

How Northern Ireland can avoid making a big “mental capacity law” mistake

In March Michael Bach and I were in Belfast. We presented our ideas on how Northern Ireland needs to rethink its approach to legal capacity, at a conference organised by Mencap Northern Ireland and the Northern Irish Association for Mental Health.
23 April 2014

Independent living is the UK Government’s responsibility

In an article published in the Guardian newspaper on Monday in the UK, Beverley Angell argues against the closure of an institution where her sister with a disability has lived for 38 years, fearing that some residents will become homeless. In this blog piece, Oliver argues that the UK Government must take responsibility for ensuring independent living for all.
11 April 2014

Substandard clinical practice as a human rights abuse

This is the last in my blog trio about Butabika hospital, Uganda’s premier psychiatric facility, which I visited last Thursday (3 April 2014). The first blog post focused on lawlessness and the second on women. This blog post focuses on clinical practice and human rights.


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