Dalhousie Law Journal


trauma informed, law, restorative justice, policy, criminal justice system, wrongdoing


Becoming trauma informed entails becoming more astutely aware of the ways in which people who are traumatized have their life trajectories shaped by the experience and its effects, and developing policies and practices which reflect this understanding. The idea that lawand, in particular the criminaljustice system, should be trauma informed is novel, and, as a result, quite underdeveloped. In this paper we advance the general argument that more effective, fair, intelligent, and just legal responses must work from a perspective which is trauma informed. We specifically apply this argument to legal work being carried out and developed under the rubric of restorative justice as this way of thinking about law focuses on acknowledging and repairing the harms to individuals and relationships which result from conflict, crime or other wrongdoing.

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Criminal Law Commons