The Role of Neuroscience and Psychology in the Criminal Justice System

70 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2016 Last revised: 17 Dec 2016

Date Written: August 18, 2015


This paper will review the role of neuroscience and psychology in the criminal justice system. Law and Neuroscience (Neurolaw) is a relatively new and highly interdisciplinary field that brings together researchers from the legal sector, social sciences, mind sciences and brain sciences, to examine the potential for neuroscientific discoveries and techniques to address a range of legal issues. The present criminal justice system has begun to utilise advances in neuroscience and psychology in criminal trials, sentencing options for offenders, rehabilitation treatment of offenders, and risk assessment for probation. It is with these recent developments, this paper will discuss three main areas in which neuroscience and psychology may be utilised in the criminal justice system. These are: (a) establishing the truth of the facts and evidence presented in a criminal law case; (b) effective judicial sentencing guidelines of offenders; (c) rehabilitation treatment and probation (both for actual offenders and supposed offenders), in order to reduce recidivism and subsequently ensure public safety.

Keywords: Neurolaw, neuroscientific evidence, forensic psychology

Suggested Citation

Adesegha, Jennifer, The Role of Neuroscience and Psychology in the Criminal Justice System (August 18, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

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