ACT lawyers better prepared to support clients with disability
The ACT Law Society has welcomed the launch of a new toolkit and guidelines to help its lawyers provide legal assistance to clients with a disability.
President Elizabeth Carroll said the toolkit will equip ACT lawyers with information and practical resources to help ensure that people with disability are empowered to engage in legal processes “in a way that supports their human rights and dignity”.
The ACT’s Capacity Toolkit and Guidelines will assist legal professionals with a concern that their adult client is unable to make decisions for themselves by assessing capacity in personal and professional life. It only applies to civil areas of law and does not relate to an assessment of a person’s capacity under criminal law jurisdictions.
“The ACT Disability Justice Strategy recognises that people with disability face a great need for legal support more than any other people in our society,” Ms Carroll said in a statement, adding that the clients “face a range of barriers that make them more likely to engage with the justice system” at a more frequent rate than others.
Ms Carroll said it is crucial that lawyers have access to the knowledge and resources to help clients and ensure that they are supported as best as possible.
“Accessing client capacity is always a complex issue, and this toolkit will serve as an essential resource to help members of our profession understand the needs of clients with disability,” Ms Carroll said.