My program of research is unique in its exploration of an area of law that is growing in its need for urgent attention and yet is largely underdeveloped in its scholarship and practice. It arises directly from my experience as a lawyer recognizing the role of rehabilitation within a legal system that must respond to people with disabilities in ways that both advance justice and improve quality of life. This distinctive, and important research program brings rehabilitation science scholarship to the law and conversely, legal scholarship to rehabilitation science, especially in the context of mental health. On one hand, the intent is to bring contemporary rehabilitation science thinking to legal system conceptions of and responses to disability and rehabilitation. While on the other hand, the idea is to bring legal conceptions of social justice, human rights and advocacy to rehabilitation science interests in full participation and citizenship for people with disabilities.
This interdisciplinary approach to research and scholarship is primarily in a criminal justice and Indigenous cultural context. This research includes explorations of Inuit conceptions of rehabilitation in criminal courts in Nunavut, disability and access to justice in the Canadian Arctic, and health system and health policy considerations relevant to facilitating health infrastructure support for criminal court rehabilitation programs in the Far North.
This unified and targeted program of research is supported by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, The Law Foundation of Ontario and the University of Alberta.