Professor of Criminal Law and Justice Studies
Therapeutic jurisprudence is one of the most pivotal recent developments in the legal field. Students, lecturers and legal practitioners around the world are exploring this law reforming philosophy and here in New Zealand it’s Professor Warren Brookbanks that’s leading the charge.
An internationally recognised authority in criminal law, mental health law, criminal justice and non-adversarial justice, Warren is Professor of Criminal Law and Justice Studies at AUT. With a particular interest in therapeutic jurisprudence, he is also the founder and Director of AUT’s Centre for Non-Adversarial Justice. Warren thoroughly enjoys teaching criminal law and mental health law and is dedicated to encouraging and supporting new lines of research in AUT’s Law School. He is currently planning novel research and programmes in association with the Centre for Non-Adversarial Justice, and beyond this has already established a broader programme of research and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Other planned projects include working with AUT colleagues to initiate research around the issue of accommodation for prisoners released from prison, and working with an interdisciplinary team of professionals to advance the exploration of issues of stress and vicarious traumatisation as these impact law students in particular.
Prior to his appointment at AUT, Warren was Professor of Law at Auckland University. During this time he was also a founding trustee of the Odyssey House Trust for the rehabilitation of drug addicts, the President of the Australia and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law (2001-2005), and a member of the District Court Judges Education Committee (2002-2014). More recent career highlights include his appointment as Visiting Fellow for the Chad Buckle Fellowship for 2015. The Fellowship is administered by Capital Coast Health in conjunction with the Buckle family, and recognises the importance of implementing best practice techniques for the monitoring, treatment and care of psychiatric patients.
One of Warren’s proudest moments was being awarded a research Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree from Auckland University in 2014. This was not a goal he set out to achieve, but was awarded on the basis of the substantial writing he has completed over an academic career now spanning 34 years. Warren is noted for having edited and published the very first New Zealand text on therapeutic jurisprudence (2015), and is the author and co-author of many other leading texts and text books on criminal law, mental health law and therapeutic jurisprudence.
Today, Warren relishes working with his new colleagues in AUT’s supportive collegial environment. Reflecting on his career, he credits his academic colleagues old and new, and their commitment to research and teaching, as the inspiration behind his success. It is this strong foundation of support that has given Warren the freedom to write and to teach - and to make a significant contribution to the development of the law in New Zealand.
When he’s not at AUT, Warren enjoys motorcycle touring and is a keen mountain biker. Being married to an exhibiting fine artist, he also enjoys art and attending art openings. Outside New Zealand he has a special place in his heart for Scotland, having spent many months in Edinburgh while on study leave, and having visited the stunning west coast.