Terapeutens rätt : rättslig och terapeutisk logik i domstolsförhandlingar

by Jacobsson, Maritha

Abstract (Summary)
In this dissertation, I explore a quite unique legal situation, namely administrative court hearings relating to coercive interventions: the Care of Young Persons Act (LVU), Care of Abusers (Special Provisions) Act (LVM), and the Compulsory Psychiatric Care Act (LPT). There are three central participatory roles in the court hearings: The official party is the authority who files the application for coercive intervention – either a chief psychiatrist or a social welfare board (typically represented by a social worker or sometimes a lawyer assisted by a social worker), whereas the citizen party is the person about whom the application is brought. The citizen party is represented by a legal representative. The professionals represent two different logics: therapeutic and judicial.The purpose of this dissertation has been to study the tension between therapeutic and judicial logic in court hearings relating to compulsory care. With theoretical concepts from Scott (1995) and Wetherell & Potter (1998), it is possible to say that the therapeutic and judicial logics are built up by institutional elements that are communicated through interpretative repertoires. Three questions are central:1. How do professional participators handle the different role expectations embedded in therapeutic and judicial logic? In this case, I am particularly interested in role conflicts faced by social workers and psychiatrists.2. How do different institutional elements (regulative, normative/cognitive) play out in the court hearings?3. To what extent can these court hearings be considered a scrutinizing order of discourse, where the arguments of official party are subjected to critical examination?In my analysis I am inspired by both critical discourse analysis and organizational theory, more precisely, new institutionalism. These two perspectives provide useful insights and make it possible to combine the micro- and macro levels in the analysis. Data for the analysis consist of 43 court hearings and 31 interviews, gathered from two different county administrative courts in Sweden. All written documents used and produced by the courts are also part of our data.The dissertation consists of five studies that indicate that the court hearings hardly can be described as a scrutinising order of discourse. In spite of this, the court constantly finds that the legal criteria for coercive intervention are satisfied. Neither the official party nor the legal representative argue according to a judicial logic. Instead, therapeutic logic dominates the order of discourse. When the arguments for compulsory care are therapeutic, they are not explicitly related to the criteria in the law. In my interpretation, the reason why the conflict between therapeutic and judicial logic is not realised can be found in the existence of a logic of normalisation. This ideological logic of normalisation can be found in most of the institutions in the Swedish society and are built on the idea of traditional welfare norms.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Umeå universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:Key words: court hearing; social worker; new institutionalism.; psychiatrist; legal representative; compulsory care; therapeutic law; therapeutic jurisprudence; normalisation; communication; discourse analysis


Date of Publication:01/01/2006

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