Victory for disability rights in Mexico

Mexico City - March 19, 2019 - In a historic ruling, Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice has determined that the guardianship of people with disabilities is unconstitutional and contrary to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Disability Rights International submitted an amicus curiae to the Supreme Court to support the case of Ernesto, a young man with a disability who was under guardianship. In 2015, Ernesto started a legal battle to have his right to legal capacity recognized and guaranteed. His case reached the Supreme Court last year.

In its amicus, DRI urged the Supreme Court to establish that the guardianship of people with disabilities is unconstitutional and not in line with the international standards that Mexico has subscribed to when it signed and ratified the CRPD. The CRPD recognizes the right of all persons with disabilities to make decisions, with legal effect, over their own lives – also known as the right to legal capacity.

On March 13, 2019, the Supreme Court ruled on the case and found that the guardianship of Ernesto was an “excessively restrictive” measure, incompatible with Article 1 of the Mexican Constitution and with Article 12 of the CRPD - which calls on States to “recognize that persons with disabilities enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life.”

This decision by the Supreme Court is a historic step towards the recognition of the legal capacity of people with disabilities. Eric Rosenthal, Executive Director of DRI, urged “Mexico to make the necessary legislative reforms to eliminate the guardianship system and instead create a decision making support system in line with Article 12 of the CRPD.”