Short abstracts of the presentations were submitted by many of the speakers in advance of the conference. The titles of those that were submitted are underlined; to view those abstracts, click on the title.
Title: Access To Justice Of Persons With Disabilities In Africa
Lead Presenter: Olanike Sekinat Odewale
- Oluwasegun Isaac Aderibigbe
Session Abstract: The CRPD addresses the issues of legal capacity, access to justice, equal recognition before the law, gender and disability stereotyping, state due diligence obligations, among other issues. While many African States had domesticated the CRPD and recognised the fact that Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) should be on the same footing as their counterparts without disabilities, Implementation of the law in ensuring compliance with these provisions of the law and adequate access to justice is a far cry from reality. Article 12 of the Convention addressed the right of PWDs to equal legal recognition, capacity and support before the law while article 13 provides for the right to equal access to justice and support and accommodation in the justice process. Mos African courts are structured in a way that could not accommodate PWDs without going to the roots of their dignity. Persons confined to wheelchairs have to be lifted to reach a room; blind parties are not provided with Braille to ensure adequate participation; deaf witnesses are not provided with expert sign translators; Lawyers with disabilities are not supported to participate effectively in the justice system due to undignified practices. Persons involved in the justice system lack adequate training to understand the specific needs of people with disabilities in accessing justice and how to provide necessary accommodations.This session will address the state of access to justice of PWDs in Africa with case studies of specific disabilities. The session will address the facilities in place to assist PWDs as well as the programmes available to assist indigent PWDs to gain access to Justice. The session seeks to advocate for the need to recognise PWDs as full persons under the law without attaching their legal right with that of another person. The session will task African Governments to provide facilities that will ease the access to prompt and adequate justice system under the guardianship of the judiciary.
See full list of abstracts here.