The African Network for Legal Capacity Reform supports the Right to Act!

The African Network for Legal Capacity Reform supports the Right to Act!

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In Africa, a network dedicated to harmonising regional and national laws and policy with Article 12 CRPD began in 2014. We are extremely pleased to host a blog post by Elizabeth Kamundia, PhD Candidate at the University of Pretoria, and Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, who was a co-founder of the Legal Capacity Network-Africa.

The Legal Capacity Network-Africa was formed in January 2014 to keep members up to date on legal capacity developments in the respective countries within Africa, and to provide a space for members to discuss issues related to legal capacity. In June 2014, a workshop on ‘Latest developments on legal capacity in Africa’ was held in Nairobi, Kenya, with participants drawn from a diverse range of African countries including Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Kenya.[1] The workshop discussed various topics including laws that limit legal capacity in the represented countries, the role of customary law in upholding and denying legal capacity, the right to own and manage property and finances by persons with disabilities and implementing the supported decision-making model in the African context. Most of the participants were drawn from the Legal Capacity Network-Africa.

The online community has recently been discussing a consent to sex case which saw the High Court of Kenya apply Article 12 of the CRPD to hold that:

‘…the approach taken by the prosecution and the learned magistrate is that the complainant is an object of social protection rather than a subject capable of having rights including the right to make the decision whether to have sexual intercourse. This approach is inconsistent with the provisions of Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which requires State parties to recognise persons with disabilities as individuals before the law, possessing legal capacity to act, on an equal basis with others (http://kenyalaw.org/caselaw/cases/view/101502/).

The countries represented in the online community are at various stages in the legal capacity law reform process.

Elizabeth Kamundia

[1] The workshop, which was held at Sarova – Panafric Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya on 11th and 12th June 2014 was funded by Open Society Foundations

 

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This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of PERSON (Partnership to Ensure Reforms of Supports in Other Nations) and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.