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QUT Law Review – Special Issue on “Current Issues in Therapeutic Jurisprudence”

QUT Law Review

QUT Law Review

Special Issue: Current Issues in Therapeutic Jurisprudence

Volume 16, No 3 (2016)

This year’s final issue of the QUT Law Review with papers from prominent and highly influential authors in the field of therapeutic jurisprudence including David B Wexler, Michael L Perlin and Ian Freckelton. According to Wexler, TJ had its genesis in the early 1990s as a new interdisciplinary approach to mental health law in the US, but has expanded remarkably in scope, reach and influence since then. TJ sees law as a social force which inevitably gives rise to unintended consequences, which may be either beneficial or harmful (what we have come to identify as therapeutic or anti-therapeutic consequences). These consequences flow from the operation of substantive rules, legal procedures, or from the behaviour of legal actors (such as lawyers and judges). It is in this sense that we conceive of the role of the law as a ‘therapeutic agent’.

The articles in this edition discuss TJ related topics including research into coronial processes from the perspectives of both therapeutic jurisprudence and restorative justice; Hawaii’s Opportunity with Probation Enforcement (‘HOPE’) program; an 18-month study of a Washington State Family Treatment Court, one of a growing number of problem solving courts utilising principles of therapeutic jurisprudence and restorative justice, a study on human dignity as one value relevant to the most justified application of police power and parens patriae interventions; and successful therapy-based initiatives for treating child sex offenders in Australia and internationally and considers what may constitute a best practice model based on therapeutic jurisprudence principles. Perlin has also contributed an ‘invited’ paper where he draws on his experiences of years in trial courts and appellate courts as he explores how ‘sanism’ and ‘pretextuality’ have influenced the behaviour of actors within the legal justice system.

The edition concludes with a review of the book, ‘Sexuality, Disability and the Law: Beyond the Last Frontier?’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) by Professor Michael L Perlin and Alison J Lynch. The review concludes that the objective of this book is on vindicating the rights of the mentally disabled and advocating for their cause and that in order to do this, many will have to confront their own, often unconscious, prejudice.

To access the latest issue of QUT Law Review, click here. 

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