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Abstract from

The Past, Present and Future of Mental Health Law: A Therapeutic Jurisprudence Analysis

Alfred Allan is Associate Professor, Forensic Psychology Program, Faculty of Community Services, Edith Cowan University.

This article uses a therapeutic jurisprudence perspective to review the evolution of mental health law in the Western world by examining developments at various stages in history, in particular the 20th century. It suggests that one of the major challenges for the future, from a therapeutic jurisprudence perspective, will be to help minimise the stigma, prejudice and discrimination associated with mental health law. The article concludes with the suggestion that the question of whether mental health law itself, because it contributes to discrimination against mentally disordered people, may be anti-therapeutic requires more investigation and consideration.

(2002) 20 No 2 Law in Context 24

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