Swedish Legal Scholarship Concerning Protection of Vulnerable Groups: Therapeutic and Proactive Dimensions
Dahlin, Moa Kindström
Gumpert, Clara Hellner
International journal of law and psychiatry 2010 Nov-Dec; 33(5-6): 398-405
This paper presents a brief overview of the legal theoretical problems that arise in connection with the societal ambition of protecting vulnerable groups. One of the central difficulties in legislation with proactive and therapeutic ambitions arises from the link between law and philosophy of science, i.e., the relationship between facts and norms. It is shown that Therapeutic Jurisprudence differs in several aspects from Swedish legal scholarship that follows Scandinavian Legal Realism. It is also demonstrated that Therapeutic Jurisprudence has several similarities with the so-called Proactive Approach. This paper suggests that Therapeutic Jurisprudence may serve as a useful legal theoretical perspective in Swedish legal scholarship, especially when studying complex and vague regulations with a future focus. Two examples from Swedish legislation are examined: (a) Laws regulating compulsory care of abused or neglected children, and (b) laws related to the mentally ill. This paper illustrates the complexity in these acts, and poses the question of whether the regulations serve their purpose of providing adequate care for and protection of those in need.
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