Prioritizing research methodologies that amplify voices

“I think we have to be aware of who we are and of our own limits. How do we avoid falling into the trap of taking up the space and speaking for others?”

Emmanuelle Bernheim
Full Professor and Canada Research Chair in Mental Health and Access to Justice
Civil Law Section

As an internationally renowned expert in the fields of mental health law and access to justice, Professor Emmanuelle Bernheim of the Faculty of Law’s Civil Law Section aims to give space to the marginalized voices that are frequently overlooked and forgotten in academic research.

A true pioneer in her field, Professor Bernheim’s work is distinguished by its focus on the judicialization of people who are poor or struggling with mental health problems, calling attention to the difficult interaction between the justice system and people marginalized by their social situation or their health problems. Her interdisciplinary research draws on law and sociology to denounce the lack of access to justice for poor and psychiatricized people, establishing a dialogue with the field of medicine on issues of consent to care and ethical issues surrounding the refusal of psychiatric care connected to individuals’ social conditions.

In this presentation from the second day of the 4th Autumn School on the Methodology of Research in Law, Professor Bernheim examines not only the methodologies that make this kind of research possible, but also the spirit in which it should be conducted to ensure its effectiveness. Without claiming to hold all of the answers, Professor Bernheim invites listeners to explore the existing literature on these methodologies, while being mindful of the oppressive dynamics that can exist between groups belonging to different social classes.

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