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Three hundred years of legal incapacity in Russia

By Yana Litins’ka

The concept of legal capacity is one of the most important concepts related to the personal status in law. When a person loses legal capacity, it means that he or she is no longer allowed to make decisions for themselves. Instead, a guardian makes decisions for them about things such as what to buy, with whom to live, what treatment should one get. A common reason for depriving people of their legal capacity is, historically as well as today, intellectual or mental disability. But how has the law of a specific state developed to define when persons become unable to make some or all the decisions about themselves? Which criteria have been used? Have these criteria been transparent and non-arbitrary? Who should decide whether a person is incapable: medical professionals or lawyers? In this post, I will focus on the legislative history of Russia concerning the deprivation of legal capacity due to mental disability.

The legislation on the deprivation of legal capacity in…

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