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Accessibility of the justice systems across the EU.

Long before the pandemic outbreak, persons with disabilities have faced many barriers in accessing the various justice systems across the European Union (EU). The difficulties encountered are across the digital and physical spaces from inaccessible websites to inaccessible courtrooms where, in both cases, the minimum provision to accommodate people with disabilities are not provided.


A 2020 study, published by the British Equality and Human Rights Commission, on inclusive justice shows how people with disabilities (including workers, such as; lawyers, judges, prosecutors and clerks) can have their lives affected by not having full access to justice-related information and spaces.


The European Disability Forum (EDF) – an independent non-governmental organisation  that defends the interests of persons with disabilities in Europe -  believes that the digitalisation of the justice system could increase its accessibility and provide equal access to services for people with disabilities in the EU, recommending the following changes:

 

 

In addition to the EDF recommendations, and to better understand people’s needs, The European Commission organised a consultation process between 30 July 2020 – 24 September 2020 to receive recommendations from the public on how to improve the digital services of the justice systems across the EU, including possible tools for legislation, funding and IT.

 

The Commission plans to publish the result of this consultation towards the end of 2020. We are looking forward to seeing the results of the consultation process and how it will impact on the accessibility of the current systems. The feedback received can be viewed here:
 

Alternatively, if you need further information on how to make facilities or services more accessible and inclusive, please do not hesitate to contact one of our team on (01) 415 12 85 or e-mail [email protected].