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UN/UINL technical meeting in Geneva: The World Notariat aims to actively support the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in relation to legal capacity

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UN/UINL technical meeting in Geneva: The World Notariat aims to actively support the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in relation to legal capacity

30/04/2018
From left to right: Ambassador Cristóbal González-Aller Jurado, Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations in Geneva (TBC); Ms. Catalina Devandas Aguilar, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN); Mr José Marqueño de Llano, President of the international Union of Notaries (UINL); Philippe Lortie, First Secretary of The Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH).
 

The United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Ms. Catalina Devandas Aguilar, and the Human Rights Commission of the International Union of Notaries (UINL) organized a technical meeting on the role of the notary in upholding the right of persons with disabilities to exercise legal capacity. The meeting was held on 23 and 24 April 2018, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. 

The two-day technical meeting gathered more than 40 participants including experts of international organizations (UN, HCCH, UINL-CDH) and representatives of national Notariat from 19 out of the 87 UINL members.

Not. Almudena Castro-Girona, President of the UINL Human Rights Commission reiterated the support of the World Notariat to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in relation to legal capacity, pointing out the following:

- Notaries have a key role to play as institutional support decision maker for persons with disabilities.

Within the framework of their functions, notaries shall safeguard the exercise of the fundamental rights by all people, especially those who are in a situation of increased risk of abuse, including persons with disabilities. This activity, besides securing legal certainty and preventing conflicts, has a very marked social content, which is manifested in the provision of counselling and legal advice, adjusted appropriately to the cultural and social circumstances that might be required. 

In the exercise of their functions, notaries make assessments of the capacity to act and discernment to sign with a free and total consent of individuals who require their services before formalizing an act or a legal relationship,and must advise adequately in the conclusion and formalization of legal documents, such as contracts, wills and powers of attorney. 

- The instrument of the Notary is directly enforceable, with no need to ask for any judgment. This makes notaries the designated non-contentious authority to apply the UN convention and a facilitator for persons with disabilities. Judges and Courts can then focus on the contentious cases.

- The World Notariat wants to be proactive by spreading all over the 87 UINL Notariats Members and countries the main purposes of the UN Convention, which are equality and access to justice for all persons with disabilities, and by reflecting on solutions to fight discrimination, denial and restriction of persons with disabilities’ rights. 

The UN Special Rapporteur and the UINL Human Rights Commission concluded the work session by emphasizing the importance of understanding persons with disabilities needs and finding actualized alternatives to the juridical current answers; the final aim being that persons with disabilities, including persons with mental/psycho-social disabilities can exercise their right as much as everyone else with legal certainty. 

This technical meeting strengthened the collaboration between the UN and the UINL on the subject of persons with disabilities and both organisations are willing to develop their work together in the next future. 

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