These four working papers represent a starting point for the theoretical framework of the VOICES project. As we stated at the outset of the project, VOICES aims to address three foundational questions which will help to frame a comprehensive approach to previously neglected aspects of legal capacity law reform.
These questions are as follows:
- What constitutes an exercise of legal agency from an individual?
- What are the justifiable limits on individual agency which can be imposed by the State and apply to everyone, regardless of disability or decision-making ability?
- How can we ascertain whether an individual is giving free and informed consent (necessary to make an action legally binding), without engaging in a functional assessment of that person’s mental capacity?
Prior to exploring these questions in further detail, we have provided an overview of selected literature on Article 12, its origins and development in international law, and the emerging literature since the publication of General Comment 1 by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
These working papers have been authored by the members of the VOICES team and have been edited based on feedback from our Advisory Committee and Steering Group . We have received many valuable insights and comments from the members of these groups which we have endeavoured to incorporate as much as possible. However, the responsibility for the content in these papers is the authors’ alone, and these papers have not been endorsed by the Advisory Group and Steering Committee members.
The final versions of these papers, along with accompanying response and reflection articles from activists and scholars involved in the drafting and subsequent interpretation of Article 12, Tina Minkowitz and Amita Dhanda, are published as part of a special issue of the International Journal of Law in Context and available online here.