Neurodiversity and the Legal System Virtual Conference 2022

Neurodiversity and the Legal System : Towards Equality for All


This conference aims 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 learning and practice. The aim is that all sectors will have the opportunity to share lived experience, learnings and contemporary practices 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.


The registration is free via Eventbrite; a Zoom link will be provided with a reminder email (please check your spam folder)
You can register to attend HERE. All are welcome.


Day 1 Thursday May 19th

9.00 – 11.05 am | Session 1 : Introductory Sessions
~ Associate Professor Anna Eriksson- Neurodisability and Criminal Justice in Australia: Challenges and Possible Solutions
~ Dr Kim Turner, Manchester Metropolitan University – Language and the Criminal Justice System
~ Dr Roxanna Fatemi-Dehaghanir,- Neurodiverse suspects, vulnerability, and the appropriate ad

11.05 – 11.20 | Break

11.20 – 12.50 |  Session 1 – Part 2 Introductory Sessions
~ Prof Stephen J Macdonald – Experiencing Cuckooing: conceptualising the relationship between neurodiversity, home takeovers, and criminal exploitation
~ Dear Dyslexic Foundation – Shae Wissell, CEO – Dyslexia and the justice system an Australian perspective
~ Prof Eddie Chaplin, London Southbank University

12.50 – 13.30 | Lunch

13.30 – 16.00 |  Session 2 – Police
~ Gardai, Ireland
~ Dr Donna Peacock – Supporting ‘vulnerable’ suspects in the police station: Access to justice, communication challenges, and enabling active participation
~ Aidan Healy, Lexxic
~ Dennis Debbaudt, Dr. Melissa Sreckovic, Dr. Christine Kenney – Autism and Police: Strategies for Safer Interactions
~ Dr Katie Maras, – Interviewing autistic witnesses

16.00-16.15 | Break

16.15- 18.15 | Session 3 – Courts

~ Prof Penny Cooper – Neurodiversity and the Courtroom: When Ground Rules Hearings Became Essential
~ Prof Warren Brookbank,- Neurodiversity and the Criminal Justice System: A New Zealand Perspective.
~ Melanie Jameson, Dyslexia Consultant – Neurodiversity v The Courts
~ Dr Michael Perlin “Something’s Happening Here/But You Don’t Know What It Is”: How Jurors (Mis)Construe Autism in the Criminal Trial

Day 2, Friday May 19th

09.30 – 11.05 am | Session 4 – Probation
~Dr Geraldine O’Hare, Probation Board NI Elena Nichifor, Probation Officer- Neurodiversity – challenge for the probation activities
~ Olivia Keaveney – Regional Manager Young Persons Probation – Neurodiverse children engaged with the Probation Service- challenges
or opportunities?

11.05 – 11.20 | Break

11.20 – 11.50 | Session 4 – Part 2 Probation

~ Dr Maxine Winstanley – The Youth Justice System, Developmental Language Disorder and rates of recidivism

11.50-12.30 | Lunch

12.30-15.30 | Session 5 – Prison

~ Dr Amanda Kirby, Emeritus Professor, and Hope Kent – Neurodiversity+ Adversity – an interwoven pathway to justice and beyond.
~ Stephen Dedridge, National Autistic Society and Ryan Francis, ParcPrison – Good practice in supporting autistic people in prison settings
~ Kathleen Davey, Decipher Zone – Autism & Prison – the individual, their families, and the workforce
~ Dr Ylva Ginsberg – Pharmacological treatment of criminal offenders with ADHD
~ Prof Froydis Morken,- Language and Literacy in the Prison Population
~ Dr Caitlin Gormley- Navigating and resisting the penal management of vulnerability among people with learning disabilities in Scottish prisons

15.30 – 15.45 | Break

15.45- 18.15 | Session 6 – Legislation and Policy

~ Prof Nathan Hughes- Ensuring rights to justice for children affected by neurodisability: implementing the requirements of the UNCRC General Comment 24
~ Dennis Debbaudt, Dr. Melissa Sreckovic, Dr. Christine Kenney – Hand in Glove Policy Change with Command Level Police and Legislators
~ Prof William Simmons, and Janyce Boynton, Artist and Educator – How a Pseudoscientific Communication Technique Clouds Issues of Disabilities and Abuse in the Court System
~ Michal Rimon Access Israel –
~ Leigh-Ann Davis, Director of Criminal Justice Initiatives – Creating Pathways to Justice for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in the U.S. and Internationally

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