A School Peer Mediation Program as a Context for Exploring Therapeutic Jurisprudence (TJ): Can a Peer Mediation Program Inform the Law?

International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, Forthcoming

13 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2010  

Nicky J. McWilliam

University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law

Date Written: October 19, 2010

Abstract

This paper reports an exploratory study of a school peer mediation program implemented as an alternative way to manage bullying and other destructive conflict. The study explores the effects of the program on the well-being of members of the school community by examining perceptions of students, staff and a sample of parents and former students. Drawing on therapeutic jurisprudence (TJ) the study explores whether the component parts of the program, separately or together, promote intended or unintended therapeutic effects. The preliminary findings of the study emphasize the importance of peer mediation training and suggest that existing scholarship in the area of school conflict resolution and peer mediation, when viewed through a TJ lens, may provide valuable insights into how to optimally configure programs for development and adoption in schools and other community settings. The study highlights the lack of attention paid by the legal system to valuable scholarship in the area of school conflict resolution and peer mediation, which may have implications for the understanding and development of legal processes and the law in general.

Keywords: Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Peer Mediation, Peer Relations, Legal Processes, Well-being, Problem-Oriented Courts, Conflict Resolution, Bullying, Mediation, Procedural Fairness, Cognitive Behavioural Skills

JEL Classification: K19, K39, D63

Suggested Citation

McWilliam, Nicky J., A School Peer Mediation Program as a Context for Exploring Therapeutic Jurisprudence (TJ): Can a Peer Mediation Program Inform the Law? (October 19, 2010). International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1694577

Nicky J. McWilliam (Contact Author)

University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law ( email )

Sydney
Australia

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