Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Child Complainants and the Concept of a Fair Trial
Criminal Law Journal, Vol. 32, p. 303, 2008
16 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2010
Date Written: 2008
Therapeutic jurisprudence examines the impact of legal actors, legal processes and laws on the wellbeing of those affected by them. It does not turn judicial officers into counsellors, rather it brings to light behavioural science findings to enhance their skills and to craft more effective legal processes. Therapeutic jurisprudence is relevant to all judicial officers and forms part of the national curriculum for judicial education. Judicial officers can, through a therapeutic approach, promote a more effective and less traumatic evidence taking process for complainants in child sexual abuse related cases by, amongst other things, taking pre-recorded evidence via CCTV, settling complainants, modelling proper methods of questioning and interacting with complainants, preventing inappropriate questioning and avoiding stereotypes in considering their evidence. Ensuring the fairness of a trial may require an active rather than reactive approach by a judicial officer and involves considerations in addition to the situation of the accused.
Keywords: Therapeutic jurisprudence, Evidence, Trial, Judicial Education, Judicial Training, Child sexual abuse
JEL Classification: K00, K1, K14, K19, K4, K42, K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation