Psychologists as expert witnesses in Australian courtrooms

Gianvanni, Elena and Sharman, Stefanie J. 2015, Psychologists as expert witnesses in Australian courtrooms, Psychiatry, psychology and law, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 920-926, doi: 10.1080/13218719.2015.1019334.

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Title Psychologists as expert witnesses in Australian courtrooms
Author(s) Gianvanni, Elena
Sharman, Stefanie J.ORCID iD for Sharman, Stefanie J.
Journal name Psychiatry, psychology and law
Volume number 22
Issue number 6
Start page 920
End page 926
Total pages 7
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1321-8719
Summary Mental health professionals assist Australian courts and tribunals with explanations about human behaviour and mental processes related to offending behaviour. Contrary to other witnesses who are only allowed to give evidence in relation to what they directly heard or saw, mental health professionals are allowed to express opinions because they are recognised as expert witnesses with specialised knowledge. However, in Australia at least, little is known about how these expert witnesses are chosen and how they meet the requirements of possessing “specialised knowledge”. In this article, we provide a brief history of expert witnesses in the courtroom, including the use of psychologists as expert witnesses. We then highlight some of the concerns that legal professionals have raised about psychologists as expert witnesses in the limited number of studies that have been conducted in Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Finally, we raise questions about how psychologists are chosen to be expert witnesses in Australia and introduce directions for future research.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/13218719.2015.1019334
Field of Research 170104 Forensic Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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