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Therapeutic Jurisprudence

Therapeutic jurisprudence is an interdisciplinary approach to legal scholarship and law reform that sees law itself as a therapeutic agent. Legal rules, legal practices, and the way legal actors (such as judges, lawyers, police officers, and expert witnesses testifying in court) play their roles impose consequences on the mental health and emotional well-being of those affected. Therapeutic jurisprudence calls for the study of these consequences with the tools of the behavioral sciences so that we can better understand law and its processes. Scholars using this approach suggest ways in which law can be reshaped to minimize its antitherapeutic effects and maximize its therapeutic potential. The field is interdisciplinary in that it brings insights from psychology and the other social sciences to bear on legal questions; ...

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