Head and shoulders photo of Professor Braun.

Joan Braun

Assistant Professor
By appointment. Appointments can be scheduled by email.
Academic Qualifications: 

PhD Candidate - Peter A. Allard School of Law

Master of Laws – Peter A. Allard School of Law

Master of Social Work – School of Social Work, University of BC

Bachelor of Laws – School of Law, University of BC

Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) – University of Victoria

Date joined Lakehead: 
August 2020
Previous Teaching/Work: 

Prior to her doctoral studies Professor Braun worked as a mediator/ lawyer in private practice and as a lawyer in the social justice sector. In the latter role, she founded western Canada’s first community legal clinic for older adults at the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support (BC CEAS). The legal clinic provided in-person representation in Vancouver and legal advice and information provincially through a toll-free phone line.

Joan Braun's work as a lawyer sparked an interest in research, policy development and law reform, and led to the decision to pursue an academic career.  During graduate studies she worked as a researcher and consultant, sat on national and international advisory committees in the elder law field and taught as a sessional instructor at two universities.

Research Interests: 

Professor Braun’s research focuses on issues at the intersection of law and aging. She has a strong interest in understanding the real world impact of laws that were drafted with the intention of protecting vulnerable older adults and in legal issues related to cognitive disability, particularly disabilities arising from dementia. 

Examples of current projects

Co-investigator on a SSHRC funded project examining capacity and capacity assessment in the context of abuse and neglect. The goal of this project is to develop an understanding of mental capacity that is more proactive, rights based and congruent with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Principal investigator for a project examining criminal law response to crimes against older adults. The project involves an analysis of policy and reviews of criminal law cases where advanced age was an aggravating factor in sentencing.

Principal investigator for a socio-legal project examining how British Columbia's Adult Guardianship Act is being implemented in practice. This statute authorizes BC's health authorities to intervene when vulnerable adults are abused or neglected and are unable to seek assistance on their own. Data was gathered through interviews and a focus group with employees who respond to reports of abuse under this statutory mandate.



Courses Taught: Administrative Law, Criminal Law, Elder Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution


 Judy Cohen, Joan Braun, Lynda Frost & Erica Wood, “The Outsiders: How the ADA Mediator Can Engage and Support ‘Other Participants’” (April 2023) 41:5 Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation 71, DOI: <10.1002/alt.21998>.

 Judy Cohen, Joan Braun, Lynda Frost & Erica Wood, “Biases, Accommodations, and the Process Details for Americans with Disabilities Act Mediation” (Mar 2023) 41:4 Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation 59, DOI: < 10.1002/alt.21993>.

 Judy Cohen, Joan Braun, Lynda Frost & Erica Wood, “Focusing on the Neutral’s Role in Setting Up Americans with Disabilities Act Mediation” (Feb 2023) 41:3 Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation 39, DOI: <10.1002/alt.21989>. 

 Judy Cohen, Joan Braun, Lynda Frost & Erica Wood, “Revisiting Thirty Years of Disability Practice” (Jan 2023) 41:2 Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation 23, DOI: < 10.1002/alt.21986>. 

 Joan Braun, “Preventing Harm to Vulnerable Older Adults: A Social Justice Perspective” (2021) 36:6 Research on Social Work Practice 561, DOI < 10.1177/10497315211010959> [Peer Reviewed].

 Joan Braun, “Legal Interventions to Protect Vulnerable Adults: Does Relational Autonomy Provide a New Way Forward?” (2020) 12:2 Elder Law Review [Peer Reviewed].

 Bernie Garrett et al (… Joan Braun), “A Taxonomy of Risk Associated Health Alternatives: A Delphi Study” (2021) Health and Social Care, DOI: <10.1111/hsc.13386 > [Peer Reviewed].

 K Torres, D Bagshaw, J Braun & R Anderson, “Detecting and Addressing Elder Abuse Within the Family Through Eldercaring Coordination” (Jan. 2020) ACResolution.

In Progress: Several publications are in progress including a chapter on aging and public health for a public health law text (forthcoming) and a co-authored article on capacity assessment through a relational lens (under review).


Centre for Research on Personhood in Dementia  - University of BC                 Researcher

Simon Fraser University School of Criminology                                                   Applied Legal Research Group