The Truth, Trauma and the Law by Ruth Littlewood

A brilliant post by fellow PhD student Ruth Littlewood on the SLC Postgrads blog. Worth a read..

School of Languages and Cultures Postgrads

In The Limits of Autobiography Leigh Gilmore comments on the tenuous link between justice and the Law, highlighting how the Law is fetishised as the arbiter of truth without taking into consideration its limitations as an institution. This includes an historical bias against women and children, who are not seen as full legal subjects and therefore have obstructed access to justice in its wider sense. Gilmore argues further that in many cases the processes of the legal system can be just as destructive for the traumatised subject, even if the court eventually rules in favour of the victim. The fairly slippery idea of ‘truth’ and how the victim perceives what has happened is made to conform to the models prescribed by the Law, meaning that there are only certain approved modes of ‘telling’ their side of the story i.e. under questioning in the witness box. Consequently, Gilmore claims that ‘not…

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