Civil and Administrative Law

A lack of wellbeing is often a key reason why people are involved in civil litigation or are required to appear before a tribunal. Personal injury due to workplace accident, motor vehicle accident or other negligent or intentional act is one example. However, the lack of wellbeing may not be physical with any attendant psychological problems or purely psychological in nature. There may be dysfunction in relationships as in disputes between neighbours, families fighting over a deceased?s estate or in commercial or contractual disputes between individuals or corporations. In the case of disciplinary tribunals, a professional may be alleged to have been neglectful in some aspect of his or her professional duty giving rise to some form of harm to a patient or client. The very cause of the alleged neglect may be a lack of wellbeing on the part of the professional.

Does the legislative framework for resolving disputes take into account the potential dysfunction that parties may experience? Do court and tribunal processes and the approach of lawyers promote their resolution, aggravate them or leave them unresolved? Do they promote therapeutic principles such as voice, validation, respect and self-determination? What can lawyers do to minimise negative effects of legal processes on client wellbeing? Are there alternatives to litigation? Can therapeutic judging processes be used in civil. These are some of the areas explored by therapeutic jurisprudence in the area of civil and administrative law.

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