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Legal issues

FASD and the law

People with FASD can be classed as vulnerable within the criminal justice system.

National FASD has created a card that can be printed out and carried by people with FASD.

People with FASD should rehearse saying these words, “I am a vulnerable person, please let me show you my card.”

Medical info for police card

People with FASD may have difficulty understanding their legal rights but may deny this, instead saying that they do understand.

They should not be interviewed without an appropriate adult and solicitor who understand FASD.

The solicitor should arrange for assessments to be completed, in order to give a more accurate picture of their functional ability as IQ does not show this:

  • CELF
  • WISC


They will need and should ask for support from a ‘liaison and diversion practitioner’, who should be FASD-trained, who can help them through the system by arranging adjustments.

Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and the Criminal Justice System

by Yvonne Garside


is an all-party law reform and human rights organisation working to strengthen the justice system – administrative, civil and criminal – in the United Kingdom.


challenges injustice, defends freedom and campaigns to make sure everyone in the UK is treated fairly. 

Law Centres Network

defends the legal rights of people who  cannot  afford a lawyer.


matches members of the public who need free legal help with barristers who are willing to donate their time and expertise in deserving cases for those who are unable to obtain legal aid and cannot afford to pay.

The SOLD network (Scotland)

established in response to the Keys to Life, (the 2013 Scottish Government strategy on improving the quality of life for people with learning disabilities.

FASD and the Justice System (Canada)

National FASD favicon

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