Therapeutic Jurisprudence in the Appellate Arena
David B. Wexler
University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law; University of Puerto Rico - School of Law
Seattle University Law Review, Vol. 24, pp. 217-222, 2000
Therapeutic Jurisprudence (TJ) is a perspective that focuses on the impact of the law on emotional life and psychological well-being. TJ originated in the field of mental health law but soon developed into a therapeutic lens to look at the law in general. Recently, therapeutic jurisprudence has been moving from the academy to the world of judging and law practice.
Most judicial interest has related to trial courts confronting issues of drug abuse and treatment, domestic violence, family law issues and the like. The current essay, however, discusses the potential application of TJ in the appellate arena.
The essay serves as an introduction to a symposium where appellate and trial judges, lawyers and law professor ponder the role of TJ in the appellate courts. The introductory essay indicates the potential breadth of a TJ approach in the appellate arena. One such approach would be for courts to develop doctrinal rules that will promote dialogue. Another is for the court to pay particular attention to the language used in its opinion. The essay introduces these issues, and they are then developed further by the other contributions to the symposium.
Date posted: June 12, 2001