Legal Capacity of Persons with Disabilities in Indonesia: A Human Rights Perspective

Following the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the CRPD), Indonesia, as a State Party to the Convention, adopted Law No. 8 of 2016 on People with Disabilities to show its commitment to protecting the rights of persons with disabilities. Despite this, people with cognitive disabilities are still denied equal rights to legal capacity. They are often treated as they are unable to make decisions and do not have will and preferences that deserve respect. This paper seeks to examine the compliance of Indonesia’s domestic laws with respect to legal capacity of persons with cognitive disabilities with the CRPD. It also discusses court decisions that denied persons with cognitive disabilities’ legal capacity, as commonly practised in Indonesia. While it acknowledges that reform should go beyond the legal framework, the paper offers legal and institutional reform to ensure the equal recognition of legal capacity for people with disabilities.