Therapeutic Jurisprudence: the Application to an England and Wales Review Court

KAWALEK, Anna (2018). Therapeutic Jurisprudence: the Application to an England and Wales Review Court. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Whilst the Therapeutic Jurisprudence ("TJ") paradigm and related movements have proliferated across jurisdictions worldwide, England and Wales has significantly lagged behind. This thesis examines the therapeutic quality of Manchester Review Court ("MRC") using TJ lenses. MRC is a specialist court in England and Wales, which possesses a problem-solving rationale by bringing offenders back for regular review of recovery and law-compliance on the core Drug Rehabilitation Requirement ("DRR") component. There is no detail of MRC in the accessible literature, no mention on the UK Justice Innovation website, not in the media, not in any policy document, nor is there a court handbook or website outlining objectives and expected practice. However, MRC arguably represents the remains of the six England and Wales Drug Court pilots, established during the early noughties, and which since appear to have been closed down. In the absence of available literature, the aim of this thesis is to provide a groundwork of knowledge to a significantly underexplored area. Positing both "wine" and "bottle" (Wexler, 2014) level research questions, it uses mixed methods (standardised observations, surveys, and interviews) as well as an enveloping ethnographic stage to answer the two-tiered questions within an overall qualitative genre. The methods are justified using the Critical Realism paradigm and data points are brought together using a triangulation rationale within a broader case study approach. One of the original contributions of this thesis is positing a new empirical tool to measure the therapeutic quality of the wine ("judicial interpersonal skills") within problem-solving court contexts. To do so, it uses Principal Component Analysis to arrange eighteen sub-skills on three measurement scales: "harnessing therapeutic support", "engaging therapeutic dialogue" and "inspiring therapeutic change". Implementing these scales for measurement of the "wine" data suggests that the magistrates' interpersonal skills at MRC were largely TJ infused and the most prominent of the eighteen sub-skills exhibited within their interactions were: "understanding the complexity of Alcohol and Other Drugs recovery", "motivating individual", "giving the offender a voice", and "setting realistic goals". However, extending the analysis towards the bottle (laws, provisions, rules, and procedures), the data indicates that the wine was operated within a significantly anti-therapeutic bottle. Where England and Wales' current criminal justice system is emphasising privatisation, centralisation, and austerity measures, the bottle remains unfriendly and is thwarting effective application of TJ at MRC. If MRC were repackaged in a way that subscribes to the current criminal justice climate without eroding other core values and priorities, this would invariably pave way for a more successful future for problem-solving court craft. This, in turn, could help in tackling deep-seated current social and human issues surrounding recidivism, addiction, and austerity.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Marson, James [0000-0001-9705-9671]
Additional Information: Director of studies: James Marson
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2019 15:21
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 02:04

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