Restorative Justice as Therapeutic Jurisprudence: The Case of Child Victims
T. Gal and V. Shidlo-Hezroni, "Restorative Justice as Therapeutic Jurisprudence: The Case of Child Victims", in E. Erez, M. Kilchling, and J-A. Wemmers (Eds.) THERAPEUTIC JURISPRUDENCE AND VICTIM PARTICIPATION IN JUSTICE: INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES (Carolina Academic Press) pp. 139 - 167 (2011)
32 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2015
Date Written: August 9, 2011
Therapeutic jurisprudence is the study of the role of the law as a therapeutic agent. It looks at the law as a social force that may produce therapeutic or anti-therapeutic consequence. Such consequences may flow from substantive rules, legal procedures, or from agents of the criminal justice system such as lawyers and judges. In fact, the task of therapeutic jurisprudence is to identify relationships between legal arrangements and therapeutic outcomes and to examine ways the law should be applied to support, or at least not to harm, those it affects (Wexler, 1992). This paper focuses on child victims within the criminal justice system and examines the idea of restorative justice as reflecting a therapeutic jurisprudence approach. Fol-lowing a discussion of young victims’ vulnerability in the current legal system and the idea of restorative justice including its main principles, theory and supportive movements, this paper suggests the different ways justice officials can provide child victims better therapeutic outcomes. In particular, the paper reveals the importance of child participation in the legal process as a desired therapeutic outcome that will benefit children, families and communities.
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