Legal Recognition of Mental Disabilities in Azerbaijan: the legal and practical challenges
(Baku State University)
The paper aims to illuminate the existing situation of legal recognition of mental disabilities in the Republic of Azerbaijan. With that aim, together with the legal regulatory framework in the field, the practical aspects of that recognition are discussed, namely, the effect of legal gaps in practice, as well as other subjective human-related factors affecting the situation, and the particular challenges experienced by the persons with mental disabilities in this regard. The paper reveals that, despite some recent positive changes, the existing legal recognition system of disabilities in the country has some legal and practical shortcomings. Such shortcomings as application of misconceptions and outdated criteria, or improper coordination in some cases lead to abuse, particularly concerning persons with mental disabilities. Thus, those people face additional, unnecessary requirements, and an inappropriate approach; for instance, being hospitalised in order to claim disability status. In other words, psychiatric hospitalisation is considered a pre-requisite for granting disability status to a person with mental impairments. The paper is supported by the findings of the empirical study (semi-structured research interviews among psychiatrists and disability rights defenders) conducted in Azerbaijan for the purposes of the present work.
Trials and Courts in Eurasia