Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science

Culture, psychology and law

Australia is becoming increasingly diverse. The multi-cultural composition of the criminal justice system is also changing, which has ramifications for forensic practice. Culture can shape an in individual’s worldview, norms, motivations, beliefs, expected behaviours and practices. It can also influence health seeking behaviours, treatment considerations, and how individuals interact with clinical/correctional service providers. It is therefore critical that we ensure that our professional methods are culturally fair, relevant and non-discriminatory at the intersection of psychology and law.

Our research on culture, psychology and law focuses on:

  • The cross-cultural applicability of assessment approaches
  • Identifying the needs of justice involved multi-cultural clients
  • Best practices for working effectively with multi-cultural clients in psycho-legal scenarios



Dr. Stephane Shepherd 

Deputy Chairs

Dr. Justin Trounson
Dr. Ben Spivak

Community Partners

Current Projects

  • Advancing cross-cultural approaches to violence risk assessment
  • Using Google Search Trends to Predict Violent Crime in Baltimore: An interdisciplinary approach
  • How do criminogenic, cultural and community-level factors differ between Indigenous people in custody and the Indigenous people in the general community?
  • The consideration of culture in pre-sentence reports: An Australian Analysis
  • Pathways to offending for young Sudanese Australians
  • Cultural competence and forensic practice
  • The impact of micro-aggressions on the distress levels of multi-cultural university students

Indicative publications