The International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities establishes in its article 13 the obligation for all States Parties, among which is Spain, to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to justice on equal terms with others. , including through procedural and age-appropriate adjustments, to facilitate the performance of the effective functions of such persons as direct and indirect participants in all legal proceedings. It is within this framework that the A LA PAR Foundation's Unit for Attention to Victims with Intellectual Disabilities (UAVDI) introduced and has been promoting in Spain, since 2012 *, the figure of the facilitator as one of the main procedural adjustments aimed at adapt judicial processes to people with intellectual disabilities.
The facilitator is an independent and neutral psychology professional, an expert in intellectual disability and forensic psychology (and especially in the field of testimony psychology), whose purpose is to assess the capacities and limitations of people with intellectual disabilities participating in legal proceedings. , in order to design and implement the necessary support and procedural adjustments so that they can access justice on equal terms with the rest of the people.
This figure is based on the ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) of the United Kingdom, which since the end of the 90s and during the 2000s exercised the role of professional intermediaries both in the police investigation and in the trial, to assist in communication and offer the necessary support so that victims with intellectual disabilities could offer a statement with guarantees.
* Recio, M., Alemany, A., and Manzanero, AL (2012). The figure of the facilitator in the police and judicial investigation with victims with intellectual disabilities. Zero Century. Spanish Journal on Intellectual Disability, 43 (3), 54-68.