Source: (2010) Journal of Health Care Law and Policy. 13(31): 31-47.

In my recent book, Legal Accents, Legal Borrowing, I examine the development of problem-solving courts in the United States and observe the process by which these courts have been exported to five other common law countries: England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and Australia.' A comparison of the development of problem-solving courts in these six cases reveals an important difference between the U.S. and the other countries as it concerns the salience of defining treatment philosophies. In the five non-U.S. regions, one finds a treatment philosophy-typically characterized as "harm reduction" or "harm minimization"-that is clearly distinct from the sort of sensibilities and treatment practices common in the U.S. The harm reduction approach popular in these other countries manifests itself in a number of ways, including in the defining practices of new problem-solving court programs. (Excerpt).