Why a Disability Rights Tribunal Must Be Premised on Therapeutic Jurisprudence Principles
Psychological Injury and the Law, special symposium issue on "Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Problem-Solving Courts," Forthcoming
39 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2016
Date Written: October 3, 2016
The authors have previously written about the need for a disability rights tribunal in Asia (DRTAP) along with an information center (DRICAP) as part of that tribunal so that litigants can easily access the controlling domestic case law, statutes and regulations of the participating nations.
We believe a successful DRTAP must be premised on therapeutic jurisprudence (TJ) principles, and that its creation would be hollow without dedicated and knowledgeable lawyers representing the population in question. In accordance with TJ principles, it must incorporate “voice, validation and voluntary participation” to insure that litigants have a sense of voice or a chance to tell their story to a decision maker.
We believe the Tribunal must operate, in part, as a problem-solving court to address the underlying problems — not just the symptoms — of social issues such as substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse and mental illness. The idea of such courts has been exported to other nations. We believe that if the DRTAP operates in a manner consonant with these principles — following the best examples of domestic mental health courts and community courts — it will more likely fulfill the TJ mandate. The application of TJ will ensure the reshaping of legal rules, procedures and lawyers’ roles to enhance their therapeutic potential without subordinating due process principles.
Keywords: Therapeutic jurisprudence; problem-solving courts; international human rights; mental disability law; regional tribunals; comparative law; interregional courts; Asia and the Pacific; disability rights
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