The Use of Psychology in the Administration of Justice in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka Journal of Forensic, Medicine Science and Law, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 7-10, 2011

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 12/43

7 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2012  

Piyanjali de Zoysa

University of Colombo

Rita Shackel

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: June 22, 2012

Abstract

Seemingly there is a lack of understanding that psychology – as the study of human and animal interactions – also encompasses how these organisms perceive the world around them and how they react to these perceptions. The specialty of forensic psychology is most closely linked with the administration of the justice system. Across the globe, it is now over a century since psychologists first furnished courts with psychological expert evidence. However, in Sri Lanka, psychologists (typically clinical psychologists) have been called on to do such work only within the last decade. Be it globally or in Sri Lanka, the scope of forensic psychology has grown and there is an increased demand for psychological reports and other psychological services in the administration of justice. This growth is seen both in criminal (e.g., in the assessment of alleged child abuse) and civil proceedings (e.g., in child custody issues in divorce proceedings). Despite the potential contribution that psychology could make to the administration of justice in Sri Lanka, arguably most psychologists, and indeed most other health professionals, are reluctant to become involved in court work. The paper explores reasons for this reluctance and makes suggestions for how this situation may be improved.

Keywords: forensic psychology, administration of justice, criminal justice, expert evidence

JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30

Suggested Citation

de Zoysa, Piyanjali and Shackel, Rita, The Use of Psychology in the Administration of Justice in Sri Lanka (June 22, 2012). The Sri Lanka Journal of Forensic, Medicine Science and Law, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 7-10, 2011; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 12/43. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2089264

Piyanjali De Zoysa

University of Colombo ( email )

Reid Avenue
Colombo 3, Western
Sri Lanka

Rita Shackel (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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