The International Framework for Court Excellence and Therapeutic Jurisprudence: Creating Excellent Courts and Enhancing Wellbeing
25 Journal of Judicial Administration 148 (2016)
20 Pages Posted: 19 May 2016
Date Written: May 19, 2016
There is a growing emphasis on the role of justice systems to improve the wellbeing of the individuals and the communities that justice systems serve. This has been the argument of therapeutic jurisprudence scholars for decades and has recently been recognized by the Productivity Commission in Australia in 2014 in its report Access to Justice Arrangements. This article discusses two important, but previously unrelated, tools that enable courts and tribunals to achieve this objective by improving the quality of justice and enhancing the wellbeing of individuals and communities in which those courts and tribunals operate: the International Framework for Court Excellence (IFCE or the Framework) and therapeutic jurisprudence (TJ). The IFCE, a quality management system for courts and tribunals, and TJ, an interdisciplinary discourse on the therapeutic and anti-therapeutic of the law and legal processes, are both aimed at improving the quality of justice. This article provides an outline of the Framework and TJ: the principles and the methodologies that each entails and the various types of innovation and reform that have arisen through their application. The way the two should work together is considered and it is suggested that there are benefits to be gained for courts and tribunals by incorporating principles of TJ into the Framework and by using the Framework to assess TJ reforms.
Keywords: therapeutic jurisprudence, TJ, International Framework for Court Excellence, access to justice, procedural justice, judicial self-assessment
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