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Promising Practices in France

10 February 1015: In Paris, the partners of the AJuPID project got together to find out more
about promising practices in France.
These practices are ways to support disabled people in their legal capacity.
The practices also provide better ways to access to justice.
Here are some examples:

Legal aid for persons committed to a psychiatric ward

Sometimes people are put into hospital against their will.
They become patients in the psychiatric ward of the hospital.
A psychiatric ward is a place where people with mental health problems are treated.
It is very difficult for patients in such a ward to contact a lawyer and to leave the ward.


news legal aidIn France, the law was changed in 2011.
Now each patient is assisted by a lawyer,
if the patient is in the ward for more than 12 days.
The lawyer is free of charge for the person in the psychiatric ward.
The lawyer will help the person to assert his or her rights.
The lawyer is only accountable to the person, he or she represents.
The lawyer is independent from the doctor, the family or the legal guardian of the person.
The lawyer defends the will of the person only; he does not act in his or her best interest.


Lawyers that support people in a psychiatric ward are trained in a particular way.
They know about mental health problems and ethics.
Ethics are rules to help decide what is good and what is bad and to do no harm.

Social safeguard

The social safeguard, or MASP, is a way to support and protect people.
The MASP is a contract between a local authority and a person.
It can last for 1 year, and up to 4 years.
The person with a disability decides what the aim of the MASP is.
This is written down in the contract.
The MASP can support the person to manage money, to find employment or to keep healthy.


During a MASP, the person will get the support he or she needs.news social safeguard
The person is supported by social workers, therapists, employment counsellors and others.
Individual and group activities are proposed to the person.
For example, relaxation therapy, professional training or a course in household chores.
The MASP does not restrict the legal capacity of a person.


More promising practices from other countries will be published in a guide.
The guide will be available on this website in autumn 2015.