PSYC71-518: Psychology and the Law 1

Description

This subject develops knowledge of psychological theory, psychological research, legislation and case law relevant to investigative interviewing of adults and children in civil and administrative (e.g., Family Court) law arenas. The provision of expert evidence (orally and in writing) to non-psychologists in legal contexts is discussed, as are the legal rules and regulations applying to the presentation of expert psychological evidence in Court. Forensic assessment methods in family law, child protection and criminal proceedings are addressed. The role of psychologists in correctional settings and the theory, evidence base and application of skills relevant to conducting group based interventions are examined. Examples include various cognitive skills programs and the treatment and management of violent offenders and sex offenders. Students are familiarised with risk assessment using actuarial and structured professional judgment methods in child maltreatment (serious neglect, physical abuse, intra-familial sexual abuse), intimate partner violence and family violence. Forensic psychology in civil claims is reviewed and includes an examination of methods of evaluating malingering, faking good, and other impression-management strategies within forensic contexts. Evidence based clinical assessment and intervention with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people from diverse cultural backgrounds is covered.

Learning outcomes

1. Demonstrate knowledge of psychological theories and models, the empirical findings supporting these theories and the methods employed to establish them, the major methods of psychological investigation and techniques of measurement and their application and interpretation, and design and implement a psychological intervention.
2. Demonstrate knowledge and behaviour consistent with the ethical, legal and professional requirements of psychological practice.
3. Demonstrate skills and knowledge of systematic psychological assessment.
4. Demonstrate skills and knowledge regarding intervention strategies.
5. Demonstrate the application of research knowledge and skills to psychological practice.
6. Demonstrate excellent written communication skills.

Prerequisites

Only available if admitted into a Postgraduate Psychology accredited program