On reforming guardianship - podcast available


On Friday, 17 July, Rosemary Kayess from the AHRCentre welcomed three distinguished experts in the field of guardianship: Peter Blanck, who directs the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University and was an expert witness in the famous Jenny Hatch case in Virginia (2013) that moved American courts in the direction of ‘supported decision making’ and away from a presumption of guardianship; Gerard Quinn, a visiting distinguished professor at UNSW and whose current work focuses on law reform throughout the world in the field of guardianship; and Graeme Smith, the Public Guardian of New South Wales.

Together, they discussed the advances in American case law, its connection to broader currents of reform in the world and its practical significance here in NSW. Peter spoke about unjustified isolation from the community (nursing homes and group homes) and his experience with the Jenny Hatch case. This case involved a young woman with intellectual disabilities who was living in the community independently and was stripped of her rights and lived through what Gerard would call a ‘civil death’. To read more about this case, self-determination and supported decision-making, please visit: http://jennyhatchjusticeproject.org/

We also heard from Gerard, as he spoke about the law as the external deposit of the community’s sense of morality and the application of political philosophy, along with images and imaging of personhood and the law, with most human rights focusing on the rights and not actually on the human. Graeme also discussed practical applications of guardianship in his role as the NSW Public Guardian.

To listen to this fascinating conversation on reforming guardianship, please visit:    https://thebox.unsw.edu.au/mp3/litigating-and-reforming-guardianship-a-public-seminar-commemorating-the-25th-anniversary-of-the-americans-with-disabilities-act