About

 
 

 

 

The trauma-informed law project is inspired by the following...

- comments from many people involved in or affected by the legal system indicating that ineffective strategies to deal with trauma in the context of a conflict or case can act as a barrier to access to justice, or even access to legal services

- the observation that the legal conflicts and cases characterized by high levels of trauma or violence tend to have lower rates of satisfactory or meaningful resolution

- the current lack of resources for both clients and legal professionals regarding best practices for avoiding retraumatization during the legal process

- the need for more widespread awareness of trauma-informed practices in the legal community in order to foster trauma-informed lawyer-client relationships

- the current lack of resources for legal professionals at risk of secondary trauma or vicarious trauma

- the need to further study whether, and to what extent, the legal process and legal system has the potential to traumatize or retraumatize legal system stakeholders

- studies regarding the recurring nature of cycles of violence and trauma, such as this study by the World Health Organization:

http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/98783/E90619.pdf

- the ACEs study results regarding the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACE):  https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy/about.html

- the growth of trauma-informed practices in other areas (schools, hospitals, medical profession, etc.)

- the observation that the use of restorative justice and therapeutic justice appears to have been limited to discrete areas of the law

- the prevalence of chronic or everyday trauma among legal professionals in the form of stress, burnout and overwhelm

- the tendency of changes in the common law to develop in a piecemeal fashion

 

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.