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What is a court?

A court is a place where people resolve legal problems.
Normally, 2 parties present their point of view to a judge in the court.
The judge then decides who is right or finds a solution between the 2.
The judge can also hear witnesses in court to get a better picture of the situation.
In court, a judge also decides whether a person has committed a crime.
If so, the judge decides on a punishment for this person.

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What does the European Court of Justice do?

The European Court of Justice interprets EU law to make sure it is applied in the same way in all EU countries.
It also settles legal disputes between the governments in EU countries and EU institutions.
Individuals, companies or organisations can also bring cases before the European Court of Justice, if they feel their rights have been violated by an EU institution.

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What does an Ombudsman do?

The Ombudsman is an independent person.
The Ombudsman
that holds the EU institutions to account.
The Ombudsman investigates complaints the EU institutions.
The Ombudsman may find that an institution fails to respect fundamental rights, legal rules, or the principles of good administration.
This includes discrimination against disabled persons, for example.
Any citizen or resident of the EU can file a complaint.
You need not be affected by the problem yourself to complain.
Please note that the European Ombudsman can only deal with complaints concerning the EU institutions.
He cannot deal with complaints about national, regional, or local institutions.

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What is the European Union or EU?

The EU is a union of 28 countries located in Europe.
There are 500 million of European citizens.
The aim of the EU is to make sure that all European citizens
have a good standard of living.
The EU does this by passing laws on issues that concern all its citizens. ,
There are laws on the trading of goods or protecting the environment.
The European Commission, the European Parliament and
the Council work together to draft and pass laws.
They are sometimes called the European institutions.
In the EU it is possible to work and travel freely.
In most EU countries, you can pay with the Euro.
The EU also pays for projects to improve the life of European citizens.

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What are human rights?

Every person has the same human rights.
These include the right to:

  • Life;
  • Being treated equally by the law;
  • Getting justice;
  • The same chances and rights at work as other people;
  • The best possible health;
  • Live in the community;
  • Say what you think;
  • Go to school, college or university ;
  • Make your own decisions.

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What is intellectual disability?

If you have an intellectual disability you may face challenges in learning and communication.
The world around us may make it difficult for you to live the life of your choices.
You have the right to support to do this.

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What is a law?

A law is a rule that specifies what you can and cannot do.
Your town and your country have laws and rules.
They are a part of the legal system.
Your town might have a law for dog owners: the law tells them to keep their dog on a leash.
Another example: at a traffic light, a car must stop at a red traffic light.
This is written in the law.
Every citizen has to follow the law.
If you do not follow the law, you may be punished by a judge in court.

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What is legal capacity?

The legal capacity is the right to make decisions in your own life and to have them respected.
These decisions can include: getting married, buying a house, making a will, voting, defending your rights in court or choosing medical treatments.
Many people with disabilities have their legal capacity taken away.
They are not equal with others before the law.
A judge decides to restrain your legal capacity.
In day to day life, others may not respect your legal capacity.
They may think you cannot decide alone at a particular time.
This could be because of a stroke or brain injury, an intellectual disability, mental health problems or illnesses like Alzheimer's.
The UN Convention says that people should make decisions on their own.
They have the right to get support to fully exercise their legal capacity.

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What is a legal guardian?

A legal guardian has the power to make decisions on behalf of another person.
This other person is called the ward.
People may believe that the ward cannot care for his or her own interests all alone.
A legal guardian can be a family member or a professional appointed by a judge.
The UNCRPD says that people should make decisions on their own.
They have the right to get support to make their own decisions.

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What is a service provider?

A service provider is an organization that provides support to people.
You can get support in many areas, such as health or education.
For example, you may need support in managing your money or getting to work.

The service provider may give you the support you need.
Often, a service provider is paid by the state to provide services
to people with disabilities.

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What is supported decision-making?

Supported decision-making is a way to support people with disabilities to make their own decisions.
With supported decision-making, you make your own decisions at all times.
The support person explains the issues and choices to you,
so you can make your own decision.
The support person must find ways to understand your choices and preferences.
The support person may explain your wishes and choices to others.
Sometimes, the support person helps others to understand that you can make a decision on your own.

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What is the United Nations Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities or UN Convention?

Everyone has human rights.
The UN Convention describes these rights for people with disability.
The UN Convention is an agreement between different countries.
Countries who sign the agreement must make sure people with disability can exercise their human rights.
Many countries all over the world have signed the agreement.
The European Union and all countries in Europe have signed the agreement.
Here, you can download an easy-to-read version of the UN Convention.

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