It is the Government's intention to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as quickly as possible, taking into account the need to ensure that all necessary legislative and administrative requirements under the Convention are being met. As the Deputy may be aware, Ireland does not become party to treaties until it is first in a position to comply with the obligations imposed by the treaty in question, including by amending domestic law as necessary.
The ongoing implementation of our National Disability Strategy in many respects comprehends many of the provisions of the Convention. In addition, the Inter-Departmental Committee on the UNCRPD monitors the remaining legislative and administrative actions required to enable ratification. At the Committee's request, the National Disability Authority, the lead statutory agency for the sector, has independently assessed the remaining requirements for ratification so as to ensure conclusively that all such issues will be addressed.
One of the key requirements in this regard is the enactment of mental capacity legislation. The Government's Legislation Programme as announced on 11 January 2012 indicates that the Mental Capacity Bill is expected to be published in the current Dáil session. The Bill will replace the Wards of Court system with a modern statutory framework governing decision-making on behalf of adults who lack capacity. The passage of this Bill will add substantially to the overall progress on implementation of the requirements towards ratification of the Convention.