This month we feature International Principles and Guidelines on access to Justice for persons with disabilities, by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The Principles and Guidelines are not intended to describe in detail a particular system of justice. Rather, drawing on the consensus of contemporary thought and on actual experience, they seek to set out what is generally accepted as good practice in guaranteeing, without discrimination, equal and fair access to justice, in accordance with article 13 and other relevant provisions of the Convention. In implementing the Principles and Guidelines, States should be cognizant of and address multiple and intersectional discrimination in access to justice. Consistent with their obligations under the Convention, it is also critically important that States closely consult with and actively involve persons with disabilities and their representative organizations.
More about International Principles and Guidelines on access to Justice for persons with disabilities](International Principles and Guidelines on access to justice for persons with disabilities):
[Excerpt from the Foreword by Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights]
Since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, there has been a blueprint for achieving inclusion based on the human rights-based approach to disability. The International Principles and Guidelines on Access to Justice for Persons with Disabilities, developed under the leadership of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Catalina Devandas Aguilar, are firmly rooted in the Convention and I welcome them as the first tool of their kind to provide comprehensive guidance and practical instruction on how to ensure access to justice for persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.
The Principles and Guidelines will be of benefit to judicial actors, national human rights institutions and civil society, including organizations of persons with disabilities, to strengthen awareness-raising activities, training and the provision of accommodations to ensure respect for the rights of persons with disabilities and their enhanced representation and participation within proceedings. In addition, they provide a framework for the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in diverse roles within the administration of justice (e.g. judge, juror and witness) as a democratic imperative involving and reflecting all facets of society – in effect, shaping the society in which we live. The Principles and Guidelines are an indispensable contribution to achieving justice for all.
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