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

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

12 Jun 2023
Journal of the British Academy, volume 11 (2023)
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Abstract: We 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.

Keywords: Amnesia, crime, forensic interviews, suggestion, eyewitness testimony, expert witnesses.

Annex separately available.

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