Down syndrome and the Status of the Actions of a Person with Down syndrome in the Jordanian Civil Law

Dr. Abdallah Imhammad Al Tarawneh
Assistant Prof of Civil Law University of Abu Dhabi – UAE


This study deals with defining the concept and nature of the individuals with Down syndrome as a model of mental disability that is concentrated in the brain neurons, which makes individuals suffer from a lack of motor and sensory capabilities and a disorder in their mental strengths which affects or decreases their perception, will or both. These effects make them unable to determine the nature of their legal actions or their implications.
This disability varies from one person to another according to its effect on perception, discrimination and expression of will. Some of these effects are mild, some are simple, and some are severe. Therefore, it is not possible to apply the legal provisions regulating the legal competence in the Jordanian civil law to this pathological condition.
The study presents a legal problem raised by dealing with this group related to whether the Down syndrome case is considered a pathological condition with limited impact on mental capabilities, and whether it is considered an aspect of legal competence defined by the general rules in the civil law, and whether the person has awareness, discrimination and ability to express their will.
For further clarification, the study adopted the descriptive, analytical, and comparative approach, and included two main topics, the first of which was devoted to addressing legal difficulties in determining what is meant by Down syndrome, and the second is a review of the extent to which the actions of a person with Down syndrome are subject to general rules.
The study concluded with a number of results, the most important of which is the difficulty in agreeing on a specific definition of mental disability or mental retardation, which affects the legal status of people with Down syndrome, as the person with Down syndrome is not subject to legal provisions that regulate the legal capacity in the civil law. They also cannot be considered people with double impairment in order to be provided with legal aid.
Civil legislation also lacks specific legal provisions dealing with the legal behavior of a person with Down syndrome. The study concluded with a number of recommendations, including asking the Jordanian legislator to have special texts to address the legal situation of people with Down syndrome, as well as asking researchers to conduct research on the legal behavior of people with chronic diseases or mental disorders, including those with Down syndrome.

Keywords: down syndrome, mental disability, perception, Will, eligibility.

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