LAW5334 - Psychiatry, psychology and law - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Quota applies

Postgraduate programs are based on a model of small group teaching and therefore class sizes need to be restricted.

Unit guides


City (Melbourne)

  • Trimester 2 2017 (Day)


For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see

For postgraduate Law unit timetables, please see

Previously coded as LAW7207


This unit focuses on issues relating to psychiatry, psychology and law. Topics covered will include the involvement of psychiatrists and psychologists in the legal system, such as: assessment of mental health conditions and decision-making capacity for the purposes of adult guardianship and mental health legislation; assessments for the purposes of law relating to unfitness to stand trial, automatism, the defence of mental impairment and sentencing; risk assessments for the purposes of serious sex offender legislation; expert evidence and legal aspects of privacy and confidentiality in mental health care.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge and understanding of recent developments and controversies in relation to psychiatry, psychology and law with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice and/or for further learning;
  • Investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to psychiatry, psychology and law and understand when and why psychologists and psychiatrists may be called to give evidence in the courts and tribunals;
  • Conduct research in the areas of psychiatry, psychology and law based on knowledge of appropriate interdisciplinary research principle and methods; and
  • Use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate at an abstract level complex ideas and concepts relevant to psychiatry, psychology and law.


Research assignment (3750 words): 50% + Take home examination (3750 words): 50%

Workload requirements

24 contact hours per teaching period (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements).

Chief examiner(s)