Enhancing access to justice for persons with disabilities
▶ In May 2020, the Supreme Court published revised edition of the Guideline on Judicial Support for Persons with Disabilities to provide equal convenience services for persons with disabilities (PWD) to enable fair participation to judicial proceedings and services.
▶ The Guideline on Judicial Support for Persons with Disabilities was published in 2013 to provide guidance to the members of the judiciary to provide judicial support for persons with disabilities. This new edition reflects new research and operational accomplishments made throughout the efforts to ensure the rights of the socially vulnerable citizens in judicial proceedings, and includes new policies and amended laws and rules on judicial support for persons with disabilities.
▶ The Second Research Team of Judicial Support for Persons with Disabilities composed of legal experts on PWD, activists of the organizations for PWD and judges participated in the drafting of the revised edition. The revised Guideline provides supplementary information categorized by the legal grounds for judicial support for PWD, perception and types of disabilities, detailed judicial support approaches by the type and degree of disabilities, and application and provision of judicial support in civil and criminal proceedings.
▶ Judicial support for different types of disabilities
- Reflecting the abolition of disability rating system from July 1, 2019, the revised Guideline categorized disability types according to the Welfare of Disabled Persons Act. Taking into consideration that the perceptions on PWD provided in the Welfare of Disabled Persons Act and those who require judicial services to ensure practical judicial support could be different, this revision focused on the necessity to provide judicial support for those who are not legally recognized as PWD in order to provide better access to court proceedings. As such, the Guideline provides the aspects of different disability types and the relevant judicial support they require.
▶ Application and provision of judicial support for persons with disabilities
- The revised Guideline on Judicial Support for Persons with Disabilities and various information materials and applications can be found at online Judicial Information Center.
▶ Judicial support in civil and criminal proceedings
- The Guideline provides information on the judicial support measures to provide appropriate convenience to persons with disabilities throughout all steps from the beginning to final judgment in civil and criminal proceedings. It contains details on the cautions that the staff should take for each different disability type and relevant communication and judicial support to provide in each step of proceedings.
[Expected Effects and Future Plan]
▶ By providing well-organized guidelines to provide judicial support in every stage of the court proceedings according to disability types such as physical disabilities, brain injuries, brain impairment, developmental disability, mental defectiveness, internal health disability, multiple disabilities, etc., it is expected to better assist persons with disabilities to access judicial services.
▶ The Supreme Court will continue the efforts to make systematic and comprehensive policies to provide judicial services for persons with disabilities in every aspect of the judicial procedure.