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Abstract from

Therapeutic Jurisprudence in Australia: Paradigm Shift or Pragmatic Incrementalism?

Arie Freiberg is Professor, Department of Criminology, University of Melbourne.

This article examines the influence of therapeutic jurisprudence in Australia, particularly in relation to the operation of the courts and corrections. It argues that recent changes to court practices manifested in drug courts, domestic violence courts, mental health courts and Koorie courts can be generalised to the wider judicial and correctional system through an understanding of the key features of problem-oriented courts and the theory of therapeutic jurisprudence. It argues further that therapeutic jurisprudence and restorative justice have in common a recognition of the importance of factors such as trust, procedural fairness, emotional intelligence and relational interaction which, if applied more broadly, can provide a constructive alternative to the flawed adversarial paradigm which presently dominates the criminal justice system.

(2002) 20 No 2 Law in Context 6

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