Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Child Complainants and the Concept of a Fair Trial

16 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2010

See all articles by Michael S. King

Michael S. King

Monash University - Faculty of Law

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

King, Michael S., Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Child Complainants and the Concept of a Fair Trial (2008). Criminal Law Journal, Vol. 32, p. 303, 2008, Monash University Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2009/28, Available at SSRN:

Michael S. King (Contact Author)

Monash University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3800

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