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Towards disability justice for the ACT: summary of research and consultations

Disability Legal services Access to justice Australian Capital Territory

This report is a major step along the road towards a strategy for equality and inclusion in the justice system in the ACT.

It summarises the outcomes of research as well as public and sector consultation on disability justice issues in the ACT in response to the ACT Government’s commitment to deliver a Disability Justice Strategy.

The development of a Disability Justice Strategy for the ACT is premised on the social model of disability which sees ‘disability’ as the result of the interaction between people living with impairments and an environment filled with physical, attitudinal, communication and social barriers.

People with disability include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

Part 1 provides a condensed overview and:

  • highlights the key barriers for people with disability in accessing the justice system
  • gives an overview of the evidence that has been pulled together into the report
  • allows the reader to hear the voices of stakeholders, particularly those impacted by the response of the justice system to their disability
  • identifies some ideas for how the ACT’s justice system can be improved, and that may form part of the Strategy
  • provides a summary of the pockets of work occurring across the justice system that contribute to better access and delivery of services for people with disability
  • explains what will happen next.

Part 2 consists of a series of chapters which look at aspects of the ACT justice system in the context of serving the justice needs of people with disability (e.g. civil justice issues, the criminal justice system, the experience of people with additional vulnerabilities, etc).

These chapters explore in greater detail how people with disability interact with or are impacted by the system and also identifies ways the system could be improved.

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