Brief on the Reform of the Infirm Persons Act and the Establishment of a Legal Capacity and Supported Decision-Making Framework for New Brunswick

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The government of New Brunswick has announced its intentions to review and reform the Infirm Persons Act. NBACL represents people with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD) whose decision-making capacity and authority are often questioned. The current Infirm Persons Act has discriminatory impact on persons with IDD and others with cognitive issues and/or disabilities as important rights to autonomy and self-determination are significantly affected through current laws and approaches to adult decision making.

We propose a significant shift in adult decision-making laws in New Brunswick which are founded on the right to legal capacity articulated in Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). In this brief we articulate the key principles and features of a Legal Capacity approach to decision making laws. Our summary brief summarizes NBACL’s recommendations for new legislation that is based on a human rights approach to decision making and that supports the right for people with a disability to exercise their legal capacity.

NBACL is willing to participate in any further discussions and consultations on this important topic. We hope that our expertise and perspectives presented in this brief provide valuable guidance on this law reform initiative.

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