LAW COMMISSION OF ONTARIO (LCO) RELEASES FINAL REPORT ON LEGAL CAPACITY, DECISION-MAKING AND GUARDIANSHIP
The Law Commission of Ontario project on Capacity, Decision-Making and Guardianship (Project) has released its final report. The report is the product of several years of research, public consultation, expert panels and discussion groups. The work of the Commission was also guided by a Project Advisory Group made up of persons with a range of experience dealing with capacity issues in fields such as law, medicine and social work. I was a member of this Advisory Group. The project identified a number of required reforms to law, practice & procedure in Ontario to more effectively protect the rights of persons with capacity issues and to ensure better access to justice for persons seeking to protect their rights and regain the power to make decisions for themselves. For a summary of the LCO Report please see the document below.
In the early stages of the Project, I was commissioned, together with Kerri Joffe of ARCH Disability Law Centre, to prepare a research paper analysing the extent to which Ontario’s guardianship laws and processes protected the rights of persons with disabilities. Our paper, “Decisions, Decisions: Protecting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Who Are Subject to a Guardianship“, identified a number problems with Ontario’s guardianship system. There is a lack of review and monitoring of guardians as well as a lack of training and support for guardians to help them perform their obligations. We also noted areas where costs and complex legal procedures created barriers for individuals subject to a guardianship who sought to challenge the actions of their guardian or protect their decision-making rights. Many of the recommendations made in this commissioned paper were included in the Law Commissions final report.