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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Friday, December 24, 2004

Canadian Therapeutic Jurisprudence Manual for Judges

One of the most successful ideas to come out of my university is therapeutic jurisprudence, pioneered by David Wexler. (Can you possibly guess what the students nicknamed him?)  WexlerTJ is defined as follows: "Therapeutic Jurisprudence concentrates on the law's impact on emotional life and psychological well-being. It is a perspective that regards the law (rules of law, legal procedures, and roles of legal actors) itself as a social force that often produces therapeutic or anti-therapeutic consequences. It does not suggest that therapeutic concerns are more important than other consequences or factors, but it does suggest that the law's role as a potential therapeutic agent should be recognized and systematically studied."  A number of judicial systems around the world have found this approach compelling; one of them is Canada, which, according to this press release, is trying to integrate TJ into its processes: "Canada's National Judicial Institute(NJI) has just published an important judicial problem solving/therapeutic jurisprudence manual. It is short, meaty, very readable, and ought to be of great value internationally. The manual is available online and , according to the publisher, non- commercial reproduction is encouraged. To access it, go to the NJI's website at http://www.nji.ca and click on 'education' and then 'publications', and finally on the title of the manual itself, Judging for the 21st Century: A Problem-solving Approach." For more information, here's the website of the International Network on Therapeutic Jurisprudence. [Jack Chin]

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