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Landmark decision on legal incapacitation: reasons issued

The HFHR has received the statement of reasons of the order of the Court of Appeal in Katowice, in which the Court dismissed a prosecutor’s motion for legal incapacitation based on the international standards of protection of rights of persons with an intellectual or mental disability. The HFHR was a participant in these proceedings.

In the statement of reasons, the Court emphasised that the judicial incapacitation of the HFHR’s client would result in an illegal interference of public authorities in the man’s sphere of rights guaranteed by national and international legal systems. The Court also held that provisions on incapacitation must be interpreted in accordance with the Constitution, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and European Convention on Human Rights.

“Article 30 of the Constitution [protection of human dignity] and human rights provisions of international law are violated in each and every case when full or partial legal incapacitation is ordered and this does not lead to material improvement of the legal or factual situation of the incapacitated individual”, reads the statement of reasons appended to the order.

“The decision of the Court of Appeal in Katowice is extremely important because it sets a new interpretation standard in incapacitation cases, the standard that must take into account international human rights instruments”, HFHR lawyer Dr Dorota Pudzianowska says. “The Court also confirmed that in these cases the right to autonomy, independent living and social inclusion, which is guaranteed for persons with disabilities under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, must be taken into account”, adds Dr Pudzianowska.

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