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IACHR Press Office
Washington, D.C.- The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) commends the Mexican State for the adoption of a reform of the National Code of Civil and Family Law Procedures (CNPCF). This reform permanently eliminates interdiction and paves the way for further legal reforms that restore the right to autonomy and independence of persons with disabilities, along with respect for their decisions in all areas of their lives.
This reform, passed by Mexico’s Congress of the Union on April 24, applies innovations that were previously adopted by other countries in the Americas who have pioneered Civil Code changes to adapt domestic legislation to the standards held in Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). These innovations include expanding decision-making support services for persons with disabilities and for all individuals who may require these services at some point in their lives. Similarly, this reform includes innovation concerning injunctions and expert medical procedures linked to medical reports. Applying the standards of international human rights law, Mexico’s reform enforces all individuals’ right to universal legal capacity.
Various civil society organizations, human rights organizations, and academics were actively involved from the outset in the process that led to the adoption of this reform in Mexico. These organizations proposed, among others, Chapter I of the reform, recognizing the full legal capacity of all individuals, including those who are older or have disabilities. The Commission welcomes this participatory legislative effort, which replicates the way the CRPD was drafted.
The reform includes the creation of an extraordinary procedure to establish the wishes and preferences of individuals who have difficulty to express them, through the extraordinary appointment of supporting individuals by a judge of competent jurisdiction. This single procedure stresses that all individuals have full legal capacity and may choose to exercise that capacity with adequate support and safeguards they freely adopt, in keeping with the civil laws of each of the states that make up the Mexican Republic. This lays the groundwork for legislatures in the country’s federal entities to adopt reforms along similar lines.
The Commission calls on all of Mexico’s states and on Mexico City to take systematic action to provide training and raise awareness, so that all individuals involved in implementing the reform on a local scale will be able to do so effectively.
A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.