National Disability Authority – Annual Conference 2020: Save the Date 21st October

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NDA Annual Conference 2020 – Facilitating the effective and equal participation of persons with disabilities in the Irish criminal justice system (Article 13 UNCRPD)

Save the Date: Wednesday, 21st October 2020

 The National Disability Authority’s Annual Conference 2020 will be hosted online as an interactive webinar in light of the COVID-19 situation. This year we will focus the Conference on the theme of Access to Justice in line with Article 13 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in the context of criminal justice. This will cover various stages of the justice process but will also include looking at related policy and programme considerations including rehabilitation, moving on to employment and life in the community from prison. This is a timely theme given Ireland’s obligation to submit its first State Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2020.

Article 13 of the Convention seeks to ensure effective access to justice for persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others. In order to successfully facilitate access to justice for persons with disabilities, several key departments and agencies must work together effectively and coherently, in particular the Department of Justice and Equality, An Garda Síochána, the Courts Service, the Prison Service and the Probation Service, amongst others. However, a joined-up and coordinated approach to Article 13 will also involve other government departments and agencies, and reflect their particular roles within the wider criminal justice system, in terms of prevention, the provision of supports to those in detention, including healthcare and education, the specific challenges faced by children and young people with disabilities and promoting reintegration into the community following a period of imprisonment through housing and welfare supports.

It is hoped that the Conference will assist participants to gain a better understanding of the considerations in meeting the Convention’s obligations for all the stakeholders involved in the criminal justice system in Ireland, the current initiatives that are underway that are designed to meet the requirements of Article 13 of the UNCRPD and areas requiring further attention. The conference will provide an opportunity to share valuable Irish and international experience and to learn from other countries who have explored different approaches to the implementation of Article 13. In particular, the conference will focus on how Article 13 can be used to drive policy development in order to ensure equal access to justice for people with disabilities within the criminal justice system.

The conference will be of interest to:

  • Policy makers
  • Officials in the Irish criminal justice system (Courts Service, An Garda Síochána, Prison Service, Probation Service etc.)
  • Public sector officials
  • Disability rights organisations
  • Advocacy organisations
  • Legal professionals
  • Individuals with disabilities and family members


Please note, this is an information notice only. You will receive an invitation to register for the conference at a later date.

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