Nabeela 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)