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Law in Context

Abstract from Volume 35 No 2 (2017) Disability, Rights and Law Reform in Australia

Supported Decision-Making in Australia: Meeting the Challenge of Moving from Capacity to Capacity-Building?

Terry Carney AO (LLB(Hons), Dip Crim (Melb), PhD (Mon)) is Emeritus Professor of Law at the Law School, University of Sydney and a Visiting Research Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Supported decision-making models are widely commended, but legislation is scant; and, while various programs of decision-making support have been tried, evaluations are few and methodological rigor is largely absent. This article reviews Australian law and practice, law reform proposals, and trials of decision support programs, to assess what has been achieved so far in realising the aspirations of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of providing ‘support’ with ‘safeguards’. Taking the example of a current control group evaluation of impacts of experientially derived training materials for supporters, the article discusses the role of evidence-based approaches to transitioning from substitute to supported decision-making through capacity-building programs for supporters of people with cognitive impairments.

(2017) 35(2) Law in Context p44

   
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