Stanford Law & Policy Review

Stanford Law & Policy Review (SLPR) is one of the most prominent policy journals in the nation and informs public discourse by publishing articles that analyze the intersection of our legal system with local, state, and federal policy. SLPR is ideologically neutral and solicits articles from authors who represent a diversity of political viewpoints.

Founded in 1989 by Stanford Law School students, SLPR has long been a forum not only for academics but also for high-profile policymakers to publish articles on hot-button issues. Past contributors include Bill Clinton, Joseph Biden, John McCain, Charles Schumer, Charles Rangel, James Baker, Russ Feingold, and Jeb Bush. SLPR has been cited multiple times by the U.S. Supreme Court and over fifty times by other federal courts. It is published widely and available at all major law schools and policy think tanks.

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We are pleased to present Volume 26, Issue 1 (2014-15) below.

For shorter pieces on more current topics, please visit SLPR Online. This online platform was created in 2013 and complements SLPR's print journal by publishing pieces on a rolling basis.

Current Issue

Volume 26, Issue 1: Mental Health and the Law

Articles

A Reputational Theory of Corporate Law

How does corporate law matter? This Article provides a new perspective on the longstanding question by suggesting that the main impact of corporate law is not in imposing sanctions, but rather in producing information. The process of litigation or regulatory investigations produces information on the behavior of defendant companies and businesspeople. This information reaches third parties and affects the way that outside observers treat the parties to the dispute. Read more about A Reputational Theory of Corporate Law

  • April 2015
  • 26 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 1
  • Article

Judges as Framers of Plea Bargaining

The vast majority of federal criminal defendants resolve their cases by plea bargaining, with minimal judicial input or oversight. This presents significant issues concerning transparency, fairness, and effective sentencing. Federal prosecutors strongly influence sentences by the charges they select. Read more about Judges as Framers of Plea Bargaining

  • April 2015
  • 26 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 61
  • Article

Involuntary Outpatient Commitment: The Limits of Prevention

Preventive outpatient commitment laws require people with mental illnesses to participate in mental health treatment before they meet the criteria for inpatient civil commitment—clear and convincing evidence of mental illness and dangerousness to self or others. These laws apply to people who are chronically ill but not imminently dangerous. Most outpatient commitment laws do not require a judicial determination of incompetence, nor do they require a criminal charge or a criminal conviction. Read more about Involuntary Outpatient Commitment: The Limits of Prevention

  • April 2015
  • 26 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 159
  • Article

Deference ≠ Abdication: Application of Youngberg to Prolonged Seclusion and Restraint of the Mentally Ill

Jacquelyn E. Bumbaca

It is the sad reality that our prisons have become the new “institutions” for housing the severely mentally ill in the aftermath of the deinstitutionalization movement. Instead of compassionate medical treatment, these individuals are often isolated for long periods of time (seclusion) or tied down against their will (restraint) when they “fail to comply” with an order or “act out” in the corrections setting. Read more about Deference ≠ Abdication: Application of Youngberg to Prolonged Seclusion and Restraint of the Mentally Ill

  • April 2015
  • 26 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 239
  • Article

A Reflection on the Madness in Prisons

The United States currently employs tremendous levels of imprisonment and imprisonment within prison in the form of solitary confinement for behavior control, as exemplified in the recent Rikers Island scandals. This Article discusses how imprisonment and solitary confinement affect those with and without mental illness in terms of psychiatric and behavioral consequences, and shows that these approaches are largely counterproductive. Read more about A Reflection on the Madness in Prisons

  • April 2015
  • 26 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 253
  • Article

The Reliability of Assault Victims' Immediate Accounts: Evidence from Trauma Studies

The admission of hearsay qualifying as an excited utterance, present sense impression, or statement about mental and bodily conditions is an exception to the general rule of inadmissibility for hearsay statements. Evidence scholars explain these exceptions as being presumably reliable statements as they are generally contemporaneous with an event at issue such that faults with memory and time to lie are remedied. Read more about The Reliability of Assault Victims' Immediate Accounts: Evidence from Trauma Studies

  • April 2015
  • 26 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 269
  • Article

The Conundrum of Family Reunification: A Theoretical, Legal, and Practical Approach to Reunification Services for Parents with Mental Disabilities

Charisa Smith

The termination of parental rights in parents with mental disabilities is a growing and crucial issue. In 2010, an estimated 45.9 million adults in the United States had experienced a mental illness in the past year. This represents twenty percent of the adult population. More than five million children in the United States have a parent with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression. Read more about The Conundrum of Family Reunification: A Theoretical, Legal, and Practical Approach to Reunification Services for Parents with Mental Disabilities

  • April 2015
  • 26 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 307
  • Article

Notes

Protecting the Children: When Can Schools Restrict Harmful Student Speech?

Kellam Conover

This Note advocates the appropriate framework for analyzing emotionally harmful speech in schools and illustrates the limits on school restrictions of such speech. By focusing almost exclusively on the Tinker line of “student speech” cases, scholars and lower courts have reached wildly conflicting conclusions about the permissibility of school restrictions on students’ emotionally harmful viewpoints. Read more about Protecting the Children: When Can Schools Restrict Harmful Student Speech?

  • April 2015
  • 26 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 349
  • Note

Latest Online

Criminal Justice Policy Preferences: Blackstone Ratios and the Veil of Ignorance

The criminal justice system—like any system that involves human judgment and decision making—is ineluctably fallible. Two different types of errors can occur during the administration of criminal justice: a false positive (i.e., convicting a factually innocent person) and a false negative (i.e., acquitting a factually guilty person).... Read more about Criminal Justice Policy Preferences: Blackstone Ratios and the Veil of Ignorance

  • February 9, 2015
  • 26 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 23