Book Chapter

Supporting accused persons with cognitive disabilities to participate in criminal proceedings in Australia: Avoiding the pitfalls of unfitness to stand trial laws

Piers Gooding, Anna Arstein-Kerslake, Sarah Mercer, Bernadette Mc Sherry

Disability, Rights and Law Reform in Australia | Law in Context | La Trobe University | Published : 2017


In the 10 years since Australia has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the issue of the indefinite detention of persons with cognitive disabilities found unfit to stand trial has received considerable attention. Concerns have been raised by national media, law reform bodies and United Nations human rights agencies. Yet there remain few examples of formal change to unfitness to stand trial laws in Australia. This article focuses on the role of procedural accommodations in meeting CRPD requirements, and other accessibility measures to ensure accused persons with cognitive disabilities are able to take part in criminal proceedings on an equ..

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