Abstract of Y. Tolub lecture


Y. Tolub
Bizchut, Israel

Even though it is one of the most important issues, the right of people
with disabilities to autonomy, self determination and complete legal
capacity (particularly people with cognitive and mental disabilities),
has not yet become part of the canon of disability rights. The Israeli
law on guardianship and legal capacity is old and out-dated and its
application by Family Courts is problematic. I would like to claim that
the use of guardianship and all the more so, limiting the legal capacity
of a person with a disability, is one of the major barriers to real
inclusion of people with disabilities in society. Inclusion in this sense is
not only the open presence of people with disabilities within society
but also the real participation of people with disabilities in social
activity. The basis of equal participation is recognition of one's human
personhood and citizenship; such recognition is complete only when
he/she is free to make his/her own decisions and thus enjoy full legal
capacity. Following in the footsteps of the UN Convention on the
Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) and of progressive legal
systems (Canada and Sweden), I would like to introduce 'Supportive
Decision Making' into current Israeli law as a practical tool that can
help bring about a significant change in the way people with disability
are viewed within society. Finally, I would like to address existing legal
tools that can help minimize the use of guardianship and maximize the
presence of people with disabilities as part of society.

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