It is almost a year now since I have returned to the bench and have been the magistrate for the East Kimberley region of Western Australia. Yes, comprehensive law, therapeutic jurisprudence and non-adversarial justice have extended even to the remotest regions. My time for blogging has been limited, with the extensive circuit commitments that I have. But I have a short period now before I go on leave during which I can put thoughts to computer (and Internet).
Empowerment has been a central theme in my thinking and practice in relation to non-adversarial justice and therapeutic jurisprudence in recent years. Empowerment is a central theme of many of the vectors of the comprehensive law movement or non-adversarial justice. For example, restorative justice, therapeutic jurisprudence, creative problem solving, Indigenous sentencing courts, forms of ADR such as facilitative mediation and holistic law all highlight the value of empowerment in various contexts. Arguably one vector where it has not gained great prominence is problem solving courts. I will return to this shortly.
I remember the day I discovered the Law Review article by Stolle and Wexler.I had just become a Family Court Judge. I had as my vision that I could be the handmaiden of greater healing as a judge rather than as a lawyer.
The latter years of my divorce practice were esconced in high asset cases, surrounded by the wealthy who hungered for simple advice on values and spirit,wanting to be authentic in the face of the storm of dissent that only divorce can so beautifully unleash.
Try as I might, my clients would not turn to their churches, therapists,or other advisors but to me: for life instructions both for their divorce issues and for their futures.I had only success.My bills were paid,I received lavish gifts of jewelry and most importantly I received their love back.
A radio interview with David Wexler on Therapeutic Jurisprudence
Differing philosophies of justice administration in the U.S. focus alternately on punishment or rehabilitation. The therapeutic justice movement, which began in the late 1980’s, sees legal intervention as a means of addressing the underlying issues that lead a person to commit a crime. In effect, the justice system can be therapeutic for offenders. David Wexler first coined the term and has spent a great part of his career studying the approach. He joins us this Thursday for a conversation about therapeutic justice.
From David Wexler:
We are pleased to announce that, as in New York City and in Padua, we plan to organize TJ panels for the International Academy of Law and Mental Health Conference to be held in Berlin, July 17-23, 2011. In essence, we will have a TJ conference within the overall IALMH meeting.
This year, Judge Jeri Beth Cohen, of Florida, USA, has agreed to chair the committee that will receive,evaluate, and organize the TJ proposals. Abstracts of proposed presentations can now be sent to Judge Cohen by email at: JCohen@jud11.flcourts.org
As some of the contributors to different vectors of the comprehensive law movement or non-adversarial justice – such as Peggy Hora, David Wexler, Bruce Winick and Victorian Deputy Chief Magistrate Jelena Popovic have observed – judging in a problem-solving court is significantly different from conventional judging. It is little wonder that mainstream legal education, legal practice and judicial education have hitherto largely not properly prepared judicial officers for this form of judging.
From David Wexler on TJ List:
This announcement in Spanish describes the U Puerto Rico LLM program with a subconcentration in TJ. Bilingual JD graduates with a TJ interest are encouraged to apply...please help spread the word. Gracias. David
¡Tenemos buenas noticias! ¡La Escuela de Derecho de la Universidad de Puerto Rico tiene una Maestría de Derecho (L.L.M.) ahora disponible con una sub-concentración en Therapeutic Jurisprudence (justicia terapéutica)!
David Wexler posted this on the TJ list:
Problems Oriented Courts Court Intervention Programs Final Report
The Law Reform Commission is pleased to announce the release of its Final Report on Court Intervention Programs.
The Final Report which sets out the Commission's conclusions and final recommendations is intended to be read in conjunction with the Commission's detailed Consultation Paper which describes how various court intervention programs operate and provides additional research and analysis.
From Mike King: The conference flyer and registration information (including a link for online registration) for the Non-Adversarial Justice conference to be held in Melbourne in May 2010 are available at: http://www.aija.org.au/NAJ%202010/NAJ10%20Infoflyer&Reg.pdf.
It promises to be an exciting conference. There is an impressive list of keynote speakers in diverse fields of non-adversarial justice or the comprehensive law movement. Bruce Winick and David Wexler are among the keynote speakers.
Editor's Note: David Wexler is Professor of Law and Director, International Network on Therapeutic Jurisprudence,University of Puerto Rico and a Distinguished Research Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology, University of Arizona. With Bruce Winick, he is the co-founder of the movement of therapeutic jurisprudence. Since we haven't caught up with David to interview him, he has graciously allowed us to reprint a recent law review article. .
It begins below but is attached in PDF form in its entirety so that formatting such as footnotes will be preserved.
At the University of Puerto Rico School of Law (UPR) in the fall term of the 2008-2009 academic year, I offered, for the first time, a sentencing and corrections seminar—approached, of course, with a distinctly therapeutic jurisprudence (TJ) spin. During that term, I was also asked to review a manuscript prepared by Florida Coastal School of Law student Dax Miller. Dax Miller’s paper, prepared for Professor Susan Daicoff’s Comprehensive Law course and published in The Florida Coastal Law Review, did not relate to sentencing and corrections. Rather, it critiqued, from a TJ perspective, the standard Florida divorce agreement form. Moreover, Dax Miller proposed a rewritten form, one highly consistent with TJ principles. At just the time that I read Dax Miller’s paper I came across, in my assigned sentencing casebook, the federal pretrial diversion form,4 and concluded that it too was in desperate need of Daxing. Suddenly, it occurred to me that Dax Miller had opened up a completely new potential branch of TJ scholarship—what might be called Form Reform.