Psychology and law
Psychology and Law research applies psychological principles to better understand and improve police procedures, laws and the legal system. This research focuses on non-clinical issues, such as the investigative procedures used by police and the information presented in the courtroom.
Beyond its applications to the justice system, this research furthers our understanding of various phenomena by developing and contributing to theories examining:
- people’s perceptions of fairness
- jurors’ decision-making
- offenders’ approaches to alternative dispute resolution procedures
- people’s fear of crime beliefs
- public support for preventive detention
- eyewitness’ memories for events and people.
Our research in this area focuses on:
- Improving eyewitness identification procedures and determining the best way to present various types of evidence in the courtroom
- Applying the principles of procedural fairness to investigate the motivations driving law enforcement officers to determine the fairness and propriety of interviewing procedures
- Evaluating jurors’ understanding of the law and developing methods to improve their legal comprehension.
Our staff members in this research area are working with collaborators at research institutions around Australia:
In addition, we have a number of collaborators at leading international research institutions:
- John Jay College of Criminal Justice (City University of New York)
- Queen’s University
- Barnard College (Columbia University)
- Bates College
- Queen Margaret University.
Beyond academic collaborations, researchers in this stream have also worked and consulted with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Victorian Department of Justice, the Queensland Police Service, attorneys, and the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration.
Chair: Dr Jennifer Beaudry
- Beaudry, J. L., Lindsay, R. C. L., Leach, A.-M., Mansour, J. K. & Bertrand, M. I. (2013). The effect of evidence type, identification accuracy, lineup presentation, and lineup administration on observers’ perceptions of eyewitnesses. Legal and Criminological Psychology. Advance online publication, doi:10.1111/lcrp.12030
- Beaudry, J. L., & Bullard, C. L.* (2014). Eyewitness identifications: The interaction between witness age and estimator variables. In M. Toglia, D. Ross, E. Pica, & J. Pozzulo (Eds.). The Elderly Eyewitness in Court (pp. 93–116). New York, NY: Taylor and Francis.
- Saulnier, A. & Sivasubramaniam, D. (In press). The effects of victim presence and coercion on apologies in restorative justice. Law and Human Behavior.
- Sivasubramaniam, D., Klettke, B., Clough, J., Schuller, R. & Oleyar, K. (2015). Jurors’ consideration of inadmissible evidence: A motivational explanation. Journal of Judicial Administration, 24, 154-171.
- Sivasubramaniam, D., Goodman-Delahunty, J., Fraser, M., & Martin, M. (2014). Protecting human rights in Australian investigative interviews: The role of recording and interview duration limits. Australian Journal of Human Rights, 20, 107-132.
- Sivasubramaniam, D. & Heuer, L. (2014). Procedural justice. In P. Zapf & B. Cutler (Eds.), APA Handbook of Forensic Psychology (pp. 345-360). Washington, DC: APA Press.
- Chu, C. M., & Ogloff, J. R. P. (2012). Assessing alleged child sexual abusers in noncriminal contexts: Proposed guidelines for practice. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 19, 4, 464 - 481
- Chu, C. M., & Ogloff, J. R. P. (2012). Sentencing of adolescent offenders in Victoria: A review of empirical evidence and practice. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 19, 3, 325 - 344
- Elliott, I., Thomas, S. D. M, & Ogloff, J. R. P. (2012). Procedural justice in contacts with the police: The perspective of victims of crime. Police Practice and Research: An International Journal, 13, 437-449. doi: 10.1080/15614263.2011.607659
- Gee, D. G. & Ogloff, J. R. P. (2014). Sentencing offenders with impaired mental functioning: R v Verdins, Buckley and Vo  at the clinical coalface. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 21, 1, 44 – 66, doi:10.1080/13218719.2013.774682