Comprehensive Law

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Comprehensive law, coined by law professor Susan Daicoff of Florida Coastal School of Law, is a movement that "utilizes the insights of procedural justice and other social science-based understanding of the intrapersonal and interpersonal dynamics of legal affairs and legal disputes. Problem solving courts, which include drug treatment courts, unified family courts, and mental health courts, are examples of the comprehensive law movement in application."

There are various vectors or related approaches and developments in the law that make up the comprehensive law movement:

Daicoff explains that comprehensive law and its vectors "intersect in two broad areas: first, it explicitly seeks to optimize human well-being in the administration of law, the resolution of legal disputes, and the resolution of legal matters, when to do so does not impinge or reduce the legal rights of the individuals involved. Second, in resolving legal matters, it explicitly considers more than strict legal rights, duties, and obligations; it includes needs, goals, values, beliefs, resources, relationships, psychological dynamics, and other nonlegal factors in its analysis of legal problems and legal solutions."

Comprehensive law provides an alternative to contemporary lawyering, aiming to improve the legal system from both the perspectives of lawyer and client.


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Author: J Kim Wright