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PhD Research

In 2015 Joan Braun was offered a scholarship to pursue a PhD at the Peter A Allard School of Law. Joan accepted this position, which provides an opportunity to research issues of long-term interest. Her studies build on her earlier graduate degrees in law and social work, The results of her research will add a new dimension to her consulting work. 

In 2017 she passed her comprehensive exams with distinction.  She successfully defended her dissertation proposal in January 2018, and reached candidacy. 

Joan Braun - lawyer, Mediator, Consultant

Joan’s PhD Dissertation

“Protecting Society’s Vulnerable: A Grounded Theory Socio-Legal Examination of Elder Abuse Laws and Response in BC”

Joan’s research focuses on elder abuse laws and policies, and how these are implemented by professionals who have a statutory mandate to respond to reports or disclosures of elder abuse (“responders”). It examines how responders interpret the law, and the factors that inform how they respond to reports of elder abuse. For example, are responders influenced by societal stereotypes about disability and age? The research methodology for this project includes focus groups and interviews with professional responders. The results will provide information helpful to legislators, policy makers, lawyers and service providers.  


Joan Braun is a published author. Her publications include

“Elder Guardianship Mediation: Threat or Benefit to Abuse Victims? (2012) 7 International Perspectives on Victimology 27 (peer reviewed)

“Elder Mediation: Promising Approaches and Potential Pitfalls” (2012) 7 Elder Law Review (peer reviewed).

“Elder Abuse: An Overview of Current Issues and Practice Considerations” in Elder Law, 2009 (Vancouver: Continuing Legal Education, 2009) ch 10.

Joan Braun is also a regular conference speaker, and has presented at major conferences in North America and Internationally.

View Joan’s Academic CV