Litigating the right to community living for people with mental disabilities


Litigating the right to community living for people with mental disabilities

A handbook for lawyers





The Litigating the Right to Community Living for People with Mental Disabilities: A Handbook for Lawyers was written with the purpose of sharing MDAC’s experience on how strategic litigation can be used as a tool to advance the right to live in the community.

The 40 pages long handbook contains five chapters. Chapter 1 provides a short summary of the handbook, while Chapter 2 reflects on the importance and content of the right to community living and puts it into context highlighting the continuous and wide-spread practice of mass-institutionalisation and exclusion suffered by millions of people with disabilities in Europe.

Chapter 3 sets out the purpose of strategic litigation, and offers practical tips about how to make litigation strategic and what to do after the judgment. It also describes MDAC’s contributions so far in initiating cases with a strategic impact.

Chapter 4 provides an ‘arguments pool’ for lawyers to rely on. The arguments are based on Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and connected rights in the European Convention on Human Rights, the Revised European Social Charter and other relevant UN and European instruments. These arguments are followed by a couple of case scenarios to show how these arguments can be applied to typical fact patterns in practice.

The last chapter, Chapter 5 guides you to the practicalities of strategic litigation, presenting a number of strategies to follow during the litigation process to overcome some of the barriers that can arise, based on the first-hand experience of lawyers working with MDAC over a number of years.

At the end of the handbook a list of case law and a list of further reading are also provided to legal professionals who are keen to promote the rights of people with disabilities in the courtroom and beyond.

September 2014
Copyright statement: © Mental Disability Advocacy Center (MDAC), 2014. All rights reserved.
ISBN 978-615-80107-2-6
Supported [in part] by a grant from the Open Society Foundations.
The picture on the front page is of MDAC client Boganka Harayama who lives in Bulgaria. © MDAC.
RSS Find us on facebook MDAC is on Twitter Company profile of MDAC on LinkedIn MDAC youtube channel Google plus close