I’m delighted to report that we have launched the website of the new International Society for Therapeutic Jurisprudence (ISTJ) and that we are now enrolling founding members for 2018! Much of the following is taken from the ISTJ website:
Co-founded in 1987 by law professors David Wexler and Bruce Winick, therapeutic jurisprudence (TJ) is an interdisciplinary field of philosophy and practice that examines the therapeutic and anti-therapeutic properties of laws and public policies, legal and dispute resolution systems, and legal institutions. TJ values psychologically healthy outcomes in legal disputes and transactions, without claiming exclusivity in terms of policy objectives.
For many years, the therapeutic jurisprudence community has existed as an informal, growing global network of scholars, practitioners, judges, and students. With the formation of the ISTJ, we are now consolidating a variety of TJ initiatives and building an organizational framework for this community.
The ISTJ is a non-profit, tax-exempt, learned organization dedicated to advancing TJ by:
- supporting legal and interdisciplinary scholarship;
- identifying and promoting best professional and judicial practices;
- sponsoring conferences, workshops, and seminars;
- engaging in continuing professional education and public education activities;
- and hosting and participating in print, electronic, social media platforms.
We spent much of 2017 assembling our founding board of trustees and global advisory council, drafting and filing our incorporation papers and application for tax-exempt status, and creating this website. The ISTJ held its founding meeting in July 2017, at the International Congress on Law and Mental Health in Prague, Czech Republic.
Membership is open to anyone who shares the general mission of therapeutic jurisprudence, not just lawyers and law professors! Our standard membership fee is only $25 USD, and currently enrolled students may join for free. Please click here to join us!
I’m privileged to be serving as the ISTJ’s first board chairperson, and we’ve assembled a wonderful board of trustees to help us get off the ground:
- Astrid Birgden, Consultant Forensic Psychologist and Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor, Deakin University, Australia
- Amy Campbell, Associate Professor of Law and Director, Institute for Health Law & Policy, University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, Memphis, TN, USA
- Kathy Cerminara, Professor of Law, Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
- Heather Ellis Cucolo (ISTJ board director), Director, Online Mental Disability Law Program, New York Law School, New York, NY, USA; Principal, Mental Disability Law and Policy Associates
- Martine Evans, Professor of Law and Criminology, Law Faculty, University of Reims, France
- Shelley Kierstead (ISTJ board vice chair), Assistant Professor and Director, Legal Research and Writing Program, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, Canada
- Michael Perlin, Professor of Law, Emeritus, New York Law School, New York, NY, USA; Principal, Mental Disability Law and Policy Associates
- Pauline Spencer, Magistrate Judge, Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, State of Victoria, Australia
- Nigel Stobbs, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
- David Wexler, Professor of Law, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Distinguished Research Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Arizona, USA
- Michel Vols, Professor and Chair in Public Order Law, Faculty of Law, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
- David Yamada (ISTJ board chair), Professor of Law and Director, New Workplace Institute, Suffolk University Law School, Boston, MA, USA
You can learn more about the ISTJ leadership, including members of our Global Advisory Council, here.
I discovered the therapeutic jurisprudence movement roughly a decade ago. As my work concerning workplace bullying, mobbing, and abuse increasingly led me into different branches of psychology, I saw TJ as an ideal framework for what I was doing. Since then, my involvement in the TJ community has deepened considerably. In fact, the seeds of the ISTJ were planted during a 2015 workshop on therapeutic jurisprudence that I hosted in Boston. It took several years of meetings, discussions, and planning for things to come together, but we’re now excited about going public with this new organization.