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The Verdict of the Court

Passing Judgment in Law and Psychology

By: Jenny McEwan
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Published: 02-10-2003
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 231
ISBN: 9781847310880
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP: £67.50
Online price : £54.00
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About The Verdict of the Court

Courts are constantly required to know how people think. They may have to decide what a specific person was thinking on a past occasion; how others would have reacted to a particular situation; or whether a witness is telling the truth. Be they judges,jurors or magistrates, the law demands they penetrate human consciousness. This book questions whether the `arm-chair psychology' operated by fact-finders, and indeed the law itself, in its treatment of the fact-finders, bears any resemblance to the knowledge derived from psychological research. Comparing psychological theory with court verdicts in both civil and criminal contexts, it assesses where the separation between law and science is most acute, and most dangerous.

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Responsibility

3. Criminal Responsibility

4. Finders of Fact

5. Laymen and the Law

6. The Criminal Process and Personality

7. Laymen and Science

8. The Impact of Psychology on Law


“ provides a concise invitation to rethink current treatments of topics, standards, and beliefs within the law. For psychologists, the book will provide a good overview for anyone seeking to embark on applied research in the legal area as it gives not only a good indication of what questions researchers have started to address, but also a sense of what issues surrounding these questions remain. I can also see the book being used at a graduate or advanced undergraduate leval, such as a final-year option in forensic psychology.” –  Ulrike Hahn, Journal of Law and Society

“This book is an eminently readable attempt at unravelling the influence of psychology on law and the limits the law has placed on that influence. The aims of the book are admirable. The planned way the subject is approached is to be commendedthe book should prove a useful text for undergraduate and postgraduate students in appropriate courses in both law and psychology.” –  Michael Carlin, Psychological Medicine

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