This conference will outline some of the considerations for psychologist expert witnesses from the legal profession and psychologists.
- Professor Leam A. Craig
- The Honourable Mr Justice Williams QC
- Professor Daniel Wilcox
- Professor David Glasgow
- HHJ Patrick Thomas QC
- Dr Agatha Benyera-Mararike
Welcome and Introduction
Professor Leam Craig, Chair, Expert Witness Advisory Group
The Honourable Mr Justice Williams QC
A judicial perspective on hearing psychological evidence
Professor David Glasgow
From Reflex Anal Dilatation to Parental Alienation Syndrome: Pitfalls of ‘forensic’ clinical and diagnostic constructs in the hands of expert witnesses (and lawyers)
HHJ Patrick Thomas QC
How psychological evidence can assist Parole Board decision making
Professor Daniel Wilcox
The life and times of a psychologist expert witness: From starting out to building a career
Dr. Agatha Benyera-Mararike
The importance of ethnic and cultural considerations in expert witness psychological assessments
Professor Leam A. Craig, Professor Craig is Chair of the BPS Expert Witness Advisory Group. He is a Consultant Forensic and Clinical Psychologist and Partner at Forensic Psychology Practice Ltd. He is a visiting Professor of Forensic Clinical Psychology, Birmingham City University, Hon. Professor of Forensic Psychology, University of Birmingham, and Hon. Assoc. Professor of Forensic Psychology, University of Nottingham, UK. He has previously been instructed by the Catholic and Church of England Dioceses, South African Police Service and the United States Air Force European Area Defence Counsel. In 2015 he co‐ authored a Ministry of Justice research report into the use of expert witnesses in family law and has published widely in the areas of forensic risk assessment, offending behaviour and expert witness evidence.
The Honourable Mr Justice Williams QC, Mr Justice Williams worked for the Legal Aid Board for 3 years before training as a barrister. He was called to the Bar in 1990 and went on to specialise in family law, particularly in children cases with an international dimension. He has also acted in private law disputes where there are psychological issues, such as personality disorders and parental alienation. He took Silk in 2013. He was appointed as a Recorder in 2016 and authorised to sit as a Justice of the High Court Family Division in 2017.
Professor Daniel Wilcox is Managing Director of Wilcox Psychological Associates Limited, a private clinical and forensic psychology practice in Birmingham, England. He is a registered clinical and forensic psychologist and an Honorary Professor of forensic psychology through appointment to the School of Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University. He is an honorary research fellow at the University of Birmingham, Centre for Forensic and Criminological Psychology. Professor Wilcox has a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Surrey and, as a Registered Europsy psychologist, is qualified to practise throughout the EU. He is also a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and the Royal Society for Medicine. Professor Wilcox is widely published and has served on the editorial boards of several journals in the field. He is the editor of The Use of the Polygraph in Assessing, Treating and Supervising Sexual Offenders (Wiley 2009), as well as co-editor of Sex Offender Treatment: A Case Study Approach to Issues and Interventions (Wiley 2015) and Working with Sex Offenders: A Guide for Practitioners (Routledge 2017). Professor Wilcox is also co-author of the chapter “The Role of the Expert Witness” in Forensic Psychology (Wiley 2017), which is presently being revised for the forthcoming fourth edition of this textbook that is being prepared for publication next year.
Professor David Glasgow, has worked for over 30 years in clinical and forensic settings with offenders and victims of offences, and in a range of settings. He was a founding co-director of the Forensic Behavioural Studies programme at Liverpool University. Later he was a course director of the Child Forensic Studies programme at Leeds University and then of the Forensic Issues programme at the University of Cumbria. He is an Honorary Professor at the Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University. He is also a Director of Child & Family Training, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the development and training in the use of tools for the assessment of children and families in health, education and social care contexts. He has acted as an expert in criminal and civil proceedings for over 25 years, often in complex, or high-profile cases. He evaluates and also undertakes investigative interviews of children and adults with a learning disability, for the purposes of legal proceedings. He also undertakes risk assessments of parents in family proceedings, including of those with histories of violent and sexual and internet offending. For over 25 years he has been a member of the development team of In My Shoes (IMS) child investigative interviewing system, which has been translated into 5 languages. He has developed or contributed to developing a number of computer/tablet based psychological assessment tools. These include apps to aid investigative interviewing of vulnerable witness, assessment of internet and other sex offenders, risk mitigation, and also the assessment of children.
HHJ Patrick Thomas QC, studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University, graduating in 1970. He then read for the Bar at the Inns of Court School of Law in London, and was called at Gray’s Inn in 1973. He started work as a barrister in Birmingham, where he has remained ever since. To begin with his practice was a very general one, but from 1980 onwards he practised exclusively in crime. He both prosecuted and defended during the whole of his time at the Bar. In 1990 he became an Assistant Recorder, and then a Recorder. At about the same time he started to teach advocacy to young barristers on the Midland Circuit, something he has continued to do ever since. In 1999 he became a Queen’s Counsel. He had done many murder trials as a junior counsel, and he did many more as a Queen’s Counsel. Throughout his career he appeared on many occasions as an advocate in the Court of Appeal, and he did one case in the House of Lords. In 2008 he became a full time Circuit Judge and authorised to try murder and terrorism cases and tried many murders. In 2018 he reached the compulsory retirement age. He tried one last murder after he retired. He is now a member of the Parole Board, taking decisions about whether prisoners whom the courts have found to be dangerous can safely be released into the community. During the pandemic he has come to specialise particularly in cases involving terrorist offenders. He was appointed an Assistant Judge of the St Helena Supreme Court, and in 2019 went to that remote island to conduct a trial there. His appointment was renewed recently to help bridge the gap after the retirement of the Chief Justice. In April 2019 he lectured at two universities in China, Chengdu and Wuhan. He spoke to teachers, undergraduates and graduate students, and at two law firms. In 2020 he was offered a position as a “Visiting Expert” at a University in Beijing. He has continued and extended his involvement in advocacy training, and training advocacy trainers, both in England and more recently overseas. He has taught advocacy at the International Criminal Court at The Hague (three times), on the island of Guernsey (twice), and in the United States (Philadelphia, 2016), Sierra Leone and Poland, and on St Helena. He has a special interest in cross-examination, which in an adversarial system is, in his view, the core skill of a criminal advocate. In 2017 he attended and spoke at a conference of prosecutors and judges in (the Former Yugoslav Republic of) Macedonia on the topic of Achieving Equality of Arms in the Criminal Justice System. He has hosted judges from France, Spain, Italy and Lithuania who wished to see the English criminal justice system in practice. In January 2019 he gave a talk to the Judicial College of England and Wales course for judges on Long and Complex Trials, advising on ways of simplifying and shortening trials in the interests of justice, and managing trials which had to be long and/or complex.
Dr Agatha Benyera-Mararike, has extensive experience in education and clinical practice working with adults, children and families in multi-professional settings. She is a BPS Chartered Counselling Psychologist, HCPC registered Practitioner Psychologist, UKCP registered Psychotherapist, fully trained EMDR therapist. She is a Senior Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University. As an expert witness in the family court, she has carried out child and adult assessments and continues to provide medico-legal reports (MLR) for family, criminal and civil matters – in accident injury claims, immigration, and Court of Appeal relating to detainees and victims of torture and complex presentations of traumatic stress.
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