Journal of the British Academy

Connecting knowledge – Deepening inquiry – Pushing boundaries


Legal aspects of memory: a report issued by the Psychology and Law Sections of the British Academy

Alan Baddeley, Chris R. Brewin, Graham M. Davies, Michael D. Kopelman and Hector L. MacQueen

In this article, the authors describe the commissioning, publication, and contents of a report on legal aspects of memory. The report was the result of a unique collaboration between the Psychology and Law ‘Sections’ of the British Academy that brought together the contributions of memory and legal experts from both inside and outside the Academy. The report briefly summarises psychological research on memory and is designed to be of practical value to busy legal and criminal justice professionals. Topics covered include memory concepts, memory development including childhood amnesia, interviewing witnesses, the effects of suggestion and misinformation, the effects of trauma on recall, adult memory for childhood events, factors affecting eyewitness identification, conditions such as psychiatric and neurological disorders that may impair memory, issues in the memory of suspects such as deception and reported amnesia, and the role of the expert witness in court.

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Posted 16 June 2023.

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