Welcome to the Center for the Study of Emotion and Law

Jill Marshall, Professor of Law & Amina Memon, Professor of Psychology

It is traditionally claimed that good law requires detachment, impartiality and objectivity, and that emotions should not be involved in the creation, interpretation, practice and its enforcement. More recently, it has become clear that this is not the case.  The aim of CSEL  is to bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines, as well as practitioners in social care, law, psychology and charities to reconsider the role of emotion within law and practice. The areas of work we cover vary depending on the relevant scholar’s expertise. Professor Memon (AM) focuses on forensic interviews of vulnerable witnesses. Her current research is looking at the barriers to justice for refugees and the resources needed to deliver fairer decisions in asylum interviews and ones based on the best available psychological science. Professor Marshall (JM) focuses on human rights and the philosophy of law. In relation to the work of the Centre, she examines the relationship between law and morality, the contribution of feminist philosophy and legal theory to the debates on exclusion and justice.

The areas of focus covered by the Centre include tackling violence against women and girls, the treatment of witnesses and their role in evidence-gathering and courtrooms; the role emotion plays in professional decision making, including in social care settings; the use of law as a form of control and power. The Centre serves as a resource for practising clinicians in allied professions, helping them to stay current on the latest developments and serving as a means of networking with other professions.