Equality on Trial: Accused Disabled Children and the Justice System

Access to Justice for Children with
Mental Disabilities
1. Increase knowledge regarding difficulties
children with mental disabilities face in
accessing justice throughout Europe.
2. Create EU-wide standards to guide us in
improving access to justice for children with
mental disabilities.
3. Produce training and educational materials for
professionals (lawyers, police and judiciary).
4. Advocacy – to promote the previous three
Impairment –
Lacking all, or part, or having a deflective limb,
organ or mechanism of the body (including
psychological mechanisms).
Disability –
The restrictions caused by the organisation of
society which does not take into account
individuals with physical or psychological
Reasonable Adjustments –
Efforts taken by society to remove those barriers.
Disabling World
Article 40 – must take into account the child’s age
UN Standard Minimum Rules on the
Administration of Juvenile Justice 1985 (Beijing Rules)
Rule 14.2 The proceedings shall be
conducive to the best
interests of the juvenile and
shall be conducted in an
atmosphere of
understanding, which shall
allow the juvenile to
participate therein and to
express herself or himself
Clearly defines:
• "Communication“
• "Language“
• "Discrimination on the basis of disability“
• "Reasonable accommodation“
• "Universal design"
UNCRPD – Article 5
Equality and non-discrimination
• (1) All persons are equal before and under the law.
• (2) Guarantee to persons with disabilities equal and
effective legal protection against discrimination on all
• (3) Shall take all appropriate steps to ensure that
reasonable accommodation is provided.
Equality Act 2010
Section 20 (5) and (11)
• The duty includes a
requirement to provide a
disabled person with an
auxiliary service, if needed,
in order to prevent them
being placed at a
substantial disadvantage
when compared with a
non-disabled person
Part 3 & Schedule 2
Section 23
Section 24
Section 25
Section 27
Section 29
Section 30
• Section 16 (1)
• Role of the Intermediary
• Registered v unregistered Intermediaries
• Section 104 Coroners and Justice Act 2009
• Common Law Principles
Investigative stages:
Re W [2010] ECA Crim 2799
Trial stages:
R (C) v Sevenoaks Youth Court [2009] EWHC
3088 (Admin); [2010] 1 All ER 735
R (AS) v Great Yarmouth Youth Court [2011]
EWHC 2059
R v Walls [2011] EWCA Crim 443

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