Rule of Law and Mental Health

Rule of Law and Mental Health

During World Wellbeing Week, we take time to consider the importance of our mental health and wellness. This ranges from the regular steps we take in our lives to stay well, to bigger topics that impact our future.

However, what impact does the Rule of Law have on our mental health and wellbeing?

At a basic level, it’s as simple as the concept of equality.  The Rule of Law means that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law.  Just as each of us would hope to be treated with respect and dignity, we should also expect the same from the law. 

Beyond this, though, there is another layer to which we should pay careful attention.

Where an element of the Rule of Law is denied or absent, it is often easy to list the literal impacts – someone loses their job unfairly and cannot get it back or be paid what they are owed;  someone is denied the benefits they are rightfully due and loses their home or other assets; someone is stuck in a destructive relationship and cannot access the advice to show them the way out. 

The literal impacts are serious, but the mental impacts of each of these depravations runs deeper still and often resonates for years beyond the original loss. If a part of your life is taken from you, and you are unable to either recover it or be compensated for the loss, you might also end up with further difficulties. Losing a job can lead to debt problems, which can lead to housing problems, or family breakdown, or other serious consequences. 

Each of these potential outcomes has a clear detrimental effect on our mental health. And so it is just as important as ever to protect the Rule of Law.  Ensuring people’s rights today is critical in securing their wellness in the future. 

To find out more about the work LeixsNexis does for the Rule of Law follow the link to our page here and to our Rule of Law foundation here.

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About the author:

Legal Director and Senior Counsel

Exec Sponsor, Rule of Law and CSR

James works for LexisNexis, based in their London office, as Legal Director and Senior Counsel.  In line with a personal passion for access to justice, James leads LexisNexis’s work in the UK on advancing the Rule of Law, with a focus on supporting digitisation in the free legal advice community.  He also heads up the UK CSR programme, encouraging employee volunteering and giving, making a positive impact on society and the communities around us.

A lawyer with experience both in private practice and in-house, James joined LN in 2012 as its UK General Counsel and was promoted to its board 2 years later.  He also led the legal function for LexisNexis South Africa and for regulatory media organisation MLex after its acquisition in 2015

In 2017, he moved into a mainstream business role to gain non-legal experience, and worked as the Director of Customer Success and Engagement.  Leading a group of c.40 people at the front-line of the business, his team ensured that existing customers get the most value from our products and future customers can make informed and objective decisions when moving to services and tools within our product portfolio.

James returned to his current legal role at the start of 2021.

Away from the office, James is a Trustee for the London Legal Support Trust, an Officer of the International Bar Association, and an FA Level 1 Football Coach.