Meet the Respondent – Maria Gomez Carillo de Castro

Over the next few months we will run a series of blog posts to introduce you to the storytellers and respondents working on the project. Each week will focus on a specific pair, their experiences and aspirations for their contribution. Earlier today we met John Kidney and below is a post about Maria Gomez Carillo de Castro who is working with him on the project. Maria and John will be presenting at our first thematic workshop on Criminal Responsibility which takes place on the 23rd of September. You can find out more about the event here

My name is María mariaGomez Carillo de Castro.

I am from Spain.

My 7 word autobiography is: I like changing the perspectives of things.

I am interested in stories about all sort of experiences, especially about legal incapacity challenging, contractual capacity and criminal responsibility.

I have experience of working with people with autism as a support person and developing different projects. I recently started working on my own. I prepare trainings for police officers and do research on different subjects (legal capacity and the right to a fair trial). In the trainings for police officers I started working with people with disabilities who have experienced detention. This fall I am participating in a training for people with learning disabilities who are starting to advocate and represent themselves within their organisations and society.

I joined the VOICES project because I wanted to get to know how other people work and approach the legal capacity. I really liked the idea of focusing on the stories more than the legal analysis. The importance of first hand experience and letting people tell us how they felt and what they needed is very powerful. These experiences are essential to understand legal capacity and its implications and to translate the CRPD into practice.

What was your favourite part of the first workshop?

My favourite part was how many inspiring people had joined the project and the fantastic atmosphere and conversations. I really enjoyed listening to all of the stories, some of the analysis of current legal interpretations and the writing workshop. Back at home, the energy and excitement lasted for weeks.

What are you hoping to learn from the project?

I hope to learn how to do things differently, to find new approaches and ways of solving contradictions between the law and how things are done.

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