Book Review: Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Overcoming Violence Against Women

Book jpeg image_vawNabeela Siddiqui reviews an excellent new TJ resource…

Therapeutic jurisprudence focuses on the impression that law makes on the psychological and social wellbeing of a person. Society is indeed the laboratory to test the veracity of the laws passed, policies framed and procedures established. Drawing on the similar lines Debarati Halder and K. Jaishankar have fruitfully compiled the essays of varied subject matter and broadened the scope of TJ both in letter and spirit.

“Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Overcoming Violence Against Women” attempts to address women’s issues through the lens of TJ.

It has four sections with seventeen well researched scholarly chapters which show how a therapeutic jurisprudence lens can be used for the benefit of women. The book explores whether existing laws addressing domestic violence, custody laws, rape laws, child custody laws, internet laws meet, or can meet, the goals of therapeutic jurisprudence.

The book is truly global. Whereas countries like US, UK and so forth are breeding grounds for TJ, this book has taken a step ahead. Issues from India (where the Editors are translating the theory behind TJ into actual practice), Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan and Bangladesh have been very competently spelled out.

Interestingly, authors have looked into a wide array of themes including religion, tradition, and anthropology in their analysis. For instance, in a chapter authored by Sawsan El Sherif (“Violence Against Women and Therapeutic Jurisprudence in Egypt: An Islamic Approach”), it has been observed by researchers that when women are targeted by domestic violence, it may also affect their children and their families. This chapter states that Islamic jurisprudence offers solution for combating violence against women. It not only offers spiritual guidance and healing, but also sets rules for peaceful environment to prevent violence against women.

Another unique article which falls in the queue comes from the Editor (Debarati Halder), herself. Her research on the comparative analysis of regulations regarding ‘Revenge Porn Against Women’ in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh is a magnum opus. The chapter argues that the above mentioned countries do not have focused laws on dealing with the issue of revenge porn targeting women. Further, the socio-economic conditions of these countries being quite the similar, it may be noted that women victims of revenge porn may not prefer to seek police help due to fear of reputation damage. The operational character of TJ is put to work to tackle this issue.

Other themes explored by the book include reproductive rights, pornography and trafficking, cyber bullying, the eviction and displacement of urban slum-dwellers, the secondary victimization of female workers by labor courts, and the role of the courts in tackling violence related to love marriage among Indians of different castes or religions. The individual scholarship may also be of use in teaching as well as in reform efforts in other nations with roughly similar cultural contexts.

The book has, indeed very clearly widened the fundamental scope of TJ. It has clearly, brought to light issues which are worth pondering upon. The novelty of ideas, sincere research and extensive efforts put by the Editors in the book, is reflective of the quality of the book itself.

About the Editors: Debarati Halder is an advocate and legal scholar. She is presently Professor & Head of Centre for Research on law and policy at Unitedworld Schoolof Law, Karnavati University, Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat, India. She is the honorary managing director of the Centre for Cyber Victim Counselling. She is the current Secretary of the South Asian Society of Criminology and Victimology (SASCV). Professor K. Jaishankar is presently the Head of the Department of Criminology, Raksha Shakti University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. He is the founder President of South Asian Society of Criminology and Victimology (SASCV) and founder (Honorary) Executive Director of Centre for Cyber Victim Counselling (CCVC).

About the Reviewer: Nabeela Siddiqui is pursuing her Master’s in Constitutional Law and Legal Order from University of Madras, Chennai, India. She has previously interned in Supreme Court of India, AALCO (Asian African Legal Consultative Organisation) and is a member to AIDWA (All India Democratic Women’s Association)

Purchase the book online here.



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On Being Responsibly Bold (and other advice for TJ-Informed Change Agents)

Professor David Yamada writes…

At a recent therapeutic jurisprudence (TJ) workshop hosted by Professor Carol Zeiner and the St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami, Florida, I urged us all to be “responsibly bold” in our research and advocacy for legal and policy change. The term resonated with a number of workshop participants, and that response has prompted me to gather three clusters of advice for those who are operating as change agents in a TJ mode.

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TJ, the Singapore Sentencing Conference, and Beyond

Professor David B. Wexler writes…

As we enter the year 2018, it is exciting to look back over the last year to see the important therapeutic jurisprudence activities and developments in various locales across the globe—including Prague, where , in July, the International Society for Therapeutic Jurisprudence was launched; and meaningful conferences in which I was privileged to participate in Australia, Argentina, Japan, and, most recently, in Singapore.

Australia has long been a TJ leader (and held a major conference in April 2017), and we are now seeing other nations improving their justice systems via the use of a TJ perspective.

In Argentina, for example, in May, three meetings were held and a full-fledged chapter of the Iberoamerican Association of Therapeutic Jurisprudence was established.

In September, Japan held a well-attended conference, and boasted a Therapeutic Jurisprudence Institute at the Seijo University Law School (I blogged about the Japan conference soon thereafter).

And finally, on October 26 and 27, in its Supreme Court Auditorium, Singapore sponsored an excellent Sentencing Conference “Review, Rehabilitation, Reintegration.” This focus naturally provided an opening for a serious discussion of therapeutic jurisprudence and related perspectives (such as Non-adversarial Justice, an umbrella that includes TJ and closely related and overlapping perspectives, such as Restorative Justice and problem-solving or solution-focused courts).

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Join the International Society for Therapeutic Jurisprudence!

The International Society for Therapeutic Jurisprudence’s website has gone public and you can now join as a member.
Regular membership is $25, and student memberships are free. By joining the ISTJ, you will be able to:
  • Participate and share your profile in the members-only TJ Forum;
  • Join ISTJ chapters and interest groups;
  • Submit your work for publishing consideration by ISTJ publications; and,
  • Add this affiliation to your professional credentials, with a designation as founding member if you join for 2018.
As you can see this blog has been rebadged as the official blog of the ISTJ.
If you have ideas for guest blog posts contact:
You can read more about the purposes of the ISTJ on our previous blog post here.
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Therapeutic courts inspiring law students

RMIT University (Victoria, Australia) law and social work students recently undertook a week-long study tour to Auckland, New Zealand.

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The Refugee Crisis in India: Can a therapeutic jurisprudence lens assist?

Guest blogger Nabeela Siddiqui, pursuing a Master in Laws (Constitutional Law), University of Madras, and Chennai, India writes…

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Exporting Drug Court Concepts to Traditional Court (TJ Court Craft Series #10)

Judge Jamey Hueston (Retired) writes…

On any given day, in courtrooms across the world, judges witness the unfortunate consequences of drug abuse reflected by some offenders who are in court “nodding out” from a “heroin high” while waiting for their cases to be called. A steady stream of people with untreated mental-health issues also enter courtrooms, often displaying oppositional attitudes, disruptive behavior, and cognitive dis-abilities.

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