Neurodiversity and the Legal System: Towards Equality for All

CPD Credits
Approved for 16 External / Internal Credits by CPsychI


May 19, 2022 9:00 am

Neurodiversity and the Legal System: Towards Equality for All

Date:  Thursday 19th & Friday 20th, May 2022
Venue: Online
Organiser: UCD CHAS, Maynooth University, Untapped Holdings, International Society for Therapeutic Jurisprudence, ADHD Ireland, IoN

CPD: Approved for 16 External / Internal Credits by CPsychI


The UCD Neurodiversity project, together with its partners ADHD Ireland, Institute of Neurodiversity, NUI Maynooth and Neurodiversity Hub, will host an online conference on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th May 2022, titled ‘Neurodiversity and the Legal System : Towards Equality for All.’ This follows on from the successful conference in 2020 on Neurodiversity and Higher Education.


The objective of this conference is to facilitate an exchange of cutting edge academic discourse, policy and practice initiatives with lived experience at the core. The conference will include all areas of the criminal justice system across international jurisdictions: police, practice in court and the judiciary, probation, prison, parole and forensic mental health services. Topics will be considered through a lens of lived experience, policy, academic learnings and practice. The aim is that all sectors will have the opportunity to share lived experience, learnings and contemporary practice relating to neurodiversity as they pertain to their research field, organisation and/or jurisdiction. It is hoped that this will allow cross fertilisation of best practice models across jurisdictions.


You can register to attend here. All are welcome.


For a full list of speakers and biographical notes, visit this page. 


Thursday May 19th

09:00 – 12:50 – Introductory Sessions

09:05 Associate Professor Anna Eriksson, Monash University – Neurodisability and Criminal Justice in Australia: Challenges and Possible Solutions

09:35 Dr Kim Turner, Manchester Metropolitan University – Language and the Criminal Justice System

10:05 Dr Roxanna Fatemi-Dehaghanir, Cardiff University – Neurodiverse suspects, vulnerability, and the appropriate adult safeguard

10:35 Dr Andrea Lollini, UC Hastings – Language Disorders: Legal and Social Justice Implications Brain-Based Equality

11:05 Break

11:20 Prof Stephen J Macdonald – Experiencing Cuckooing: conceptualising the relationship between neurodiversity, home takeovers, and criminal exploitation , Durham University

11:50 Judith Hudson, Dear Dyslexic Foundation – Dyslexia and the justice system an Australian perspective

12:20 Prof Eddie Chaplin, London Southbank University

12:50 LUNCH

13:30-15:30 – Police

13:30 – Gardai, Police Service Ireland

14:00 – Dr Donna Peacock, University of Sunderland – Supporting ‘vulnerable’ suspects in the police station: Access to justice, communication challenges, and enabling active participation

14:30 – Aidan Healy Lexxic

15:00 Dennis Debbaudt, Dr. Melissa Sreckovic, Dr. Christine Kenney – Autism and Police: Strategies for Safer Interactions

15:30 Dr Katie Maras, – Interviewing autistic witnesses

16:00 BREAK

16:15 – 18:15 – Courts

16:15 Prof Penny Cooper – Neurodiversity and the Courtroom: When Ground Rules Hearings Became Essential

16:45 Prof Warren Brookbank, Auckland University of Technology – Neurodiversity and the Criminal Justice System: A New Zealand Perspective.

17:15 Melanie Jameson, Dyslexia Consultant – Neurodiversity v The Courts

17:45 Dr Michael Perlin  “Something’s Happening Here/But You Don’t Know What It Is”: How Jurors (Mis)Construe Autism in the Criminal Trial Process

Friday 20th May

09:30 – 11:50 – Probation

09:35 Dr Geraldine O’Hare, Probation Board Northern Ireland

10:05 Elena Nichifor, Probation Officer, Braşov Probation Service, Romania – Neurodiversity – challenge for the probation activities

10:35 Olivia Keaveney – Regional Manager Young Persons Probation – Neurodiverse children engaged with the Probation Service- challenges or opportunities?

11:05 BREAK

11:20 Dr Maxine Winstanley – The Youth Justice System, Developmental Language Disorder and rates of recidivism.

11:50 LUNCH

12:30-15:30 – Prison

12:30 Dr Amanda Kirby, Emeritus Professor, University New South Wales and Hope Kent, Univ Exeter- Neurodiversity + Adversity – an interwoven pathway to justice and beyond.

13:00 Stephen Dedridge, National Autistic Society and Ryan Francis, Parc Prison – Good practice in supporting autistic people in prison settings

13:30 Kathleen Davey, Decipher Zone – Autism & Prison – the individual, their families, and the workforce

14:00 Dr Ylva Ginsberg, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, – Pharmacological treatment of criminal offenders with ADHD

14:30 Prof Froydis Morken, University of Bergen – Language and Literacy in the Prison Population

15:00 Dr Caitlin Gormley, University of Glasgow – Navigating and resisting the penal management of vulnerability among people with learning disabilities in Scottish prisons

15:30 BREAK

15:45-18:15 – Legislation and Policy

15:45 Prof Nathan Hughes, University of Sheffield – Ensuring rights to justice for children affected by neurodisability: implementing the requirements of the UNCRC General Comment 24

16:15 Dennis Debbaudt, Dr. Melissa Sreckovic, Dr. Christine Kenney – Hand in Glove Policy Change with Command Level Police and Legislators

16:45 Prof William Simmons, University of Arizona and Janyce Boynton, Artist and Educator – How a Pseudoscientific Communication Technique Clouds Issues of Disabilities and Abuse in the Court System

17:15 Yuval Wagner, Access Israel – Legal System and Legal Mechanisms in place in Israel towards an Inclusive Society

17:45 Leigh-Ann Davis, Director of Criminal Justice Initiatives at The Arc of the United States – Creating Pathways to Justice for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in the U.S. and Internationally


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