Welcome to this edition of our newsletter, which
aims to give you an insight into MDAC's
activities during the period October to December 2009. In this edition you can
read about our activities before the courts, and the United Nations, including
the UN Human Rights Committee and the newly-established Committee on the Rights
of Persons with Disabilities. We also present various domestic and
international events and initiatives in which MDAC
has participated. You can also read
about upcoming events such as the MDAC
summer school, and learn about a national honour bestowed upon one of MDAC's staff. This time there is a web interface for
the newsletter which you can see here.
Before the Court
10 November 2009, MDAC lawyers
represented two Bulgarian applicants in the first social care institution cases
to come before the European Court of Human Rights. Read more.
MDAC lodged a third
party intervention before the European Court of Human Rights in a Polish case
on institutionalisation and deprivation of legal capacity. Read more.
Victory before the
Bulgarian equality body: In November, a group of parents of children with
intellectual disabilities, represented by MDAC's Bulgarian partner, the
Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, won a case against the Ministry of Education for
discrimination against children with special educational needs. Read more.
For the first time, the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic
has said that the deprivation of legal capacity is "constitutionally
problematic" and is a "relic of the old regime", incompatible with a modern
democratic system. Read more.
decision of the Tallinn Circuit Court in Estonia reinforces the right to
legal capacity of persons with disabilities and warns against arbitrary
deprivation of legal capacity by courts. Read more.
Disability Advocates Inc v. Paterson, litigating
institutionalisation in the United States:
an interview with Ira Burnim, Legal Director of Bazelon Center
for Mental Health Law and member of MDAC's Legal Advisory Network. Read more.
congratulates its Senior Advocacy Officer, Gábor Gombos, who on 3 December 2009,
the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of
Hungary in recognition of his work in the field of human rights of persons with
disabilities. Read more.
CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS! Summer School on "Mental
Disability Law in Practice", 19-30 July 2010, Budapest. Deadline for applications 15
February! Read more.
MDAC's Executive Director teaches a course in a distance learning Diploma in Mental Health Law and Human Rights organised by the Indian Law Society and the World Health Organization. Read more.
International Advocacy & Policy
In October 2009, MDAC advocated before the UN Human Rights Committee,
which subsequently called on Russia to reform its guardianship laws and to
ensure human rights for people with disabilities. Its Concluding Observations
are the Committee's most comprehensive analysis of the right to legal capacity
under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Read more.
21 October 2009, the UN Committee on
the Rights of Persons with Disabilities devoted their first "day of general
discussion" on the right to legal capacity. Read more.
Implementing the right to education of children with intellectual disabilities: One year after the
decision of the European Committee for Social Rights in MDAC
v. Bulgaria'. 'On 3 November, MDAC
and the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee hosted a roundtable which was attended by
the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and sixty others. Read more.
in the Czech Republic:
MDAC and the Czech League of Human Rights organised a conference in Brno addressing different issues of capacity assessment in
the Czech Republic and other European countries. Read more.
Africa: In September 2009, MDAC participated in a disability rights workshop
organised by the Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities
(SADPD) in Cape Town, South Africa. As MDAC is seeking to expand its programming into Africa, the workshop provided MDAC's Policy and Advocacy
Officer, Eyong Mbuen, an opportunity
to reflect upon the challenges to implementing the CRPD in the continent. Read
The World Health Organization is
seeking stronger commitment from European governments to improve the health of
children with intellectual disabilities. Read more.
In November 2009, MDAC attended a consultation meeting organised by
the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency. Read more.
Challenges in implementing the Civil Code in Hungary
which changed the face of legal capacity. Read more.
introduces human rights to the Eastern European Psychiatric Congress in October
2009 in Moscow, Russia. Read more.
MDAC seeks a Legal Officer (Legal Capacity) and a Policy and Advocacy Officer (Detention monitoring). Application deadlines are 15 February 2010. Read
MDAC seeks a Hungarian Business/Finance Expert to serve on the Board. Application deadline 10 March 2010. Read more.
wishes to thank all our supporters without whom our work would not be
possible. In particular, we wish to thank the Open Society Institute - Budapest, Zennström
Philanthropies, the Sigrid Rausing Trust, the Civil
Rights Defenders (formerly Swedish Helsinki Committee), the Trust for Civil
Society in Central and Eastern Europe, the UK
Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Norwegian EEA/EFTA Financial Mechanism
with the Hungarian Environmental Partnership Foundation and its partners.
also extends its gratitude to each and every individual donor for their
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