Neurolaw Blogs

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Podcast of 'Neurotechnologies of justice: Neuroscience beyond the courtroom'

Posted by Elizabeth Schier on 10/03/2017 14:28:34

Thank you again to Professor Nikolas Rose for kicking off the year with his talk  'Neurotechnologies of justice: Neuroscience beyond the courtroom'

A podcast is available now at:

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did

One Year On and 50% Bigger

Posted by Elizabeth Schier on 06/12/2016 13:12:33

It has been almost a year since we launched the database and to celebrate we have been working hard coding cases. We have now added 43 new cases, bringing the total up to the lovely palindrome of 131. That's a 50% increase in the last year.

Thanks to the PACE students from Philosophy and Psychology for their great coding work and in particular to Armin Alimardani for his invaluable work and boundless enthusiasm. Make sure you keep an eye on the database - with over 100 cases waiting to be coded things will only continue to grow.

Senate Inquiry into the Indefinate Detention of People with an Intellectual or Psychiatric Impairment

Posted by Elizabeth Schier on 02/12/2016 13:31:06

The senate inquiry into the indefinite detention of people with an intellectual or psychiatric impairment has released its report. Many of the criminal cases in the database concern such individuals, as highlighted in our recent workshop on Dementia in the Law.

It found that hundreds of forensic orders are issued in Australia and that around 100 Australians (around 50 of whom are of Aboriginal or Torrens Straight Islander descent) are kept in detention, without a conviction. It made 32 recommendations including screening people for impairments when they come into contact with the criminal justice system and changing the law, including introducing limiting terms for forensic patients in those states which currently lack them. They found that people who may in fact lack the capacities required to be responsible, plead or stand trial are pleading guilty in order to avoid indefinite detention.

You can find the report at: and can listen to the ABC's reporting on the inquiry at

Event: Pharmacology and the Law

Posted by Elizabeth Schier on 04/08/2016 13:29:58

Team member, Dr Allan McCay, will be chairing a discussion at Sydney University on 9 August 2016 from 5.30pm for a 6pm start

Pharmacotherapies and Crime: the impact of drugs on offending behaviour

This seminar brings together a number of experts to discuss the emerging evidence around pharmacological interventions and their impact on offending behaviour and recidivism.

How might drug treatments such as Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and anti-androgens interact with the criminal justice system? Do treatments like these mandate difficult actions on offenders, or do they enhance justice outcomes? How are they comparable to other well established treatments, such as opioid substitution therapies or cognitive behavioural therapy? And how do medical treatments engage with behavioural questions around offending? Are the side effects of such interventions mitigated by justice outcomes? What is the scope for coercive drug treatment? Criminal justice practice and historical theoretical thinking have long debated the biological aspects of offending and treatment.

This seminar will explore the evidence base for use of certain drugs and their individual impact on offending, including the critical ethical, moral and legal dimensions of their use.

Please join us for this first seminar of the 50th Anniversary 2016-2017 Corrective Services NSW Beyond Punishment seminar series, examining the possible futures of offender treatment.

For more details and (free but compulsory) registration please visit:

2SER - Neuroscience and the Law

Posted by Elizabeth Schier on 01/07/2016 13:01:36

Tim Cheeseman speaks to team member Dr Allan MacCay to discuss why criminals are given certain time periods for jail time and other forms of rehabilitation. New studies into Neuroscience are showing that It's not just as simple as "they did the crime", often it deals with why. Now Australian law may be on the cusp of a brain-based revolution that will reshape the way we deal with criminals.

You can listen at: