News

February 2011

In May 2011, the National Judicial College of Australia is conducting a training program on solution-focused judging, ie, judging applying principles of therapeutic jurisprudence. The program brochure is available here.

November 2009

In Melbourne on 23 November 2009 the Chief Justice of Victoria, Marilyn Warren, launched a new bench book to aid judges and magistrates to apply therapeutic jurisprudence (TJ) principles in judging in problem-solving courts and in mainstream lists. The bench book is published by the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration. Amongst other things, Her Honour spoke of its potential to effect cultural change.


The Chief Justice of Australia, Robert French kindly wrote the foreword for the bench book.

The title of the bench book is "Solution-Focused Judging Bench Book" rather than "Problem-Solving Judging Bench Book" on the basis that in taking a TJ approach especially in relation to underlying issues, judicial officers should, as far as possible and consistent with statute law, common law and the judicial function, empower and facilitate participants resolving their own problems with the support of the court and treatment and support agencies rather than the court solving their problems for them. Of course courts must also reach a legal outcome.

The name also reflects the move amongst judicial officers in Australia and New Zealand towards the use of solution-focused terminology. Thus, there is a "courts as solutions" email list for judicial officers and some others in Australia and New Zealand.

Amongst other things, the bench book analyses key components of therapeutic jurisprudence and problem-solving courts; discusses non-adversarial justice in brief; analyses the elements of
solution-focused judging; has two chapters devoted to judicial communication and listening skills; covers TJ strategies to be used in court; explores the mechanisms of positive behavioural change and the stages of judicial engagement with participants in court; has a chapter on how TJ/solution-focused judging can be applied in mainstream courts; and explores the professional and personal challenges to judging in this manner and suggests strategies that individual judicial officers and the court itself can use to address them.

It also has chapters on substance abuse, family violence and mental health.

A pdf copy of the bench book is available for download without charge from here. A hard copy of the bench book is also available for purchase--see the AIJA publications section of this website. The hard copy is spiral bound so that it opens flat--ideal for the bench.

July 2009

A book entitled Non-Adversarial Justice by Michael King, Arie Freiberg, Becky Batagol and Ross Hyams was published during the month. It provides an overview of the field of non-adversarial justice or comprehensive law, chapters on its main approaches such as therapeutic jurisprudence, restorative justice, creative problem solving, preventive law, holistic approaches to law, ADR, problem-solving courts, Indigenous sentencing courts, diversion programs and other topics and chapters that discuss their implications for courts, the legal profession and legal education. 

The Therapeutic Jurisprudence Center has recently been established at the University of Miami. It is the initiative of one of the developers of therapeutic jurisprudence, Professor Bruce Winick, who is the Center's founding director. The Center aims to promote scholarship and research on therapeutic jurisprudence and training in its principles and practices. The establishment of the Center is an important milestone in the development of therapeutic jurisprudence internationally.

June 2009

The Non-Adversarial Justice conference to be held in Melbourne that is being organised by the AIJA and the Faculty of Law at Monash University is now less than a year away. Now is the time to submit an abstract. Interest in the conference is strong and prompt action is needed for those who wish to deliver a paper at the conference. For more details, see: http://aija.org.au/NAJ%202010/NAJ%20Flyer.pdf 

November 2008

Papers from the conference 'Just Partners: Family Violence, Specialist Courts and the Idea of Integration' held in Canberra in May 2008 are now available online 

September 2008

The Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration and Monash University's Faculty of Law is organising an international conference on Non-Adversarial Justice to be held in Melbourne in May 2010. It aims to bring together legal professionals such as judges, magistrates and lawyers, professionals from other disciplines such as the behavioural sciences and academics to explore new developments in and connections between the different modalities of non-adversarial justice or the comprehensive law movement. Modalities include: therapeutic jurisprudence, restorative justice, ADR, problem-solving courts, collaborative law, holistic law, preventive law and creative problem solving. The conference is relevant to the work of the courts, other aspects of the justice system, lawyers and legal education. There is a link to the call for papers at the top of this page. A conference website will be established shortly and a link to it will be provided from this page. 

July 2008

The Law Reform Commission of Western Australia has recently issued a consultation paper on court intervention programs in relation to its reference on problem-oriented courts. The paper and a research paper by Harry Blagg relating to the same reference can be accessed at: http://www.lrc.justice.wa.gov.au/3_poc_pub.html

June 2008

A new book Rehabilitating Lawyers: Principles of Therapeutic Jurisprudence for Criminal Law Practice edited by David Wexler has just been published by Carolina Academic Press. It includes contributions from professionals in the US, Canada and Sweden. Four of the contributions are from Australia. The Australian contributions comprise a discussion whether therapeutic jurisprudence is compatible with the professional obligations of a barrister, a therapeutic jurisprudence approach to representing a criminal law client and preparing and delivering a plea of guilty and dealing with the resistant client. For more details about the book, see: http://www.cap-press.com/pdf/1844.pdf

May 2008

Conference Papers: "Bringing Justice and Community Together"

The Victorian Association of Restorative Justice has created a page on its website where papers from its conference held on 14 May 2008 in Melbourne may be downloaded. The paper by Michael King explores connections between therapeutic jurisprudence and restorative justice and other modalities of non-adversarial justice and gives illustrations where these approaches can be used together to offer a more comprehensive resolution of legal disputes. The webpage is at: http://www.varj.asn.au/news/Conference2008.htm

December 2007

Family Violence and Specialist Courts
22 - 23 May 2008
Canberra, ACT
This national conference will be an opportunity to hear critical reflections from overseas and national speakers, and will provide an occasion for Australian judicial officers, administrators, victim advocates, prosecutors, policy makers and law reform advocates to share perspectives on the specialised jurisdictions, on what constitutes ‘success’ and visions for the future.
Abstracts may be posted to: Victim Support ACT, GPO Box 158, Canberra City 2601, AUSTRALIA By email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Enquiries to:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

September 2007 

Papers from the Third International Conference on Therapeutic Jurisprudence held in Perth, Western Australia  from 7-9 June 2006 can now be downloaded from the AIJA website. To access the list of papers available, click here .  Papers that have been published in the conference monograph or in the Journal of Judicial Administration and papers where  the authors have not given permission for posting to the web are not available for download from this site.

August 2007

The AIJA has recently published a selection of papers presented to the Third International Conference on Therapeutic Jurisprudence in Perth in June 2007. The conference was organised by the AIJA in collaboration with a number of Australian and international law and educational institutions and attracted a large audience from within Australasia and from overseas. The papers published cover a broad range of areas of application of therapeutic jurisprudence, including: Indigenous issues, drug courts, domestic violence, mediation, magistrates court practice, international criminal law, therapeutic jurisprudence and juvenile justice in Pakistan, magistrates courts and social change and disciplinary investigations and hearings. To order a copy of this publication, Transforming Legal Processes in Court and Beyond, see the AIJA publications list page.

To request that news of particular developments in therapeutic jurisprudence in Australia and/or New Zealand  be added to this page, please send us an email.