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Question

75. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when Ireland will ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4050/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Government intends to proceed to ratification of the Convention as quickly as possible, taking into account the need to ensure all necessary legislative and administrative requirements under the Convention are met. As the Deputy is aware, Ireland has a dualist legal system and therefore does not become party to treaties until it is first in a position to comply with the obligations imposed by them, including the amendment of domestic law as necessary.
A team has been charged with examining all outstanding obstacles to ratification, and has nearly completed the first phase of its work, which includes identifying all areas which will need attention to make ratification possible. An Interdepartmental Committee is in place, and met recently to review issues and the action and timeframe required to tackle them. Many of these issues involve amending unsuitable and outmoded language and in some cases, archaic legal provisions, in existing legislation. Another key task which is underway involves examining how the important issue of Reasonable Accommodation can be achieved in a meaningful way within our Constitutional framework as interpreted by the Supreme Court.
Progress towards ratification therefore continues to be made. One of the core elements of the remaining work to be completed is the enactment of capacity legislation. The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill will comprehensively reform existing legislation governing capacity and will provide a series of options to support people with decision-making capacity difficulties to make decisions and exercise their basic rights in line with the principles of the Convention. The Bill is currently awaiting Committee Stage in the Dáil.