Mason Institute, Medicolegal Symposium: Aspects of Neuro Law, 13th-14th Nov 2015, Edinburgh

The extended programme for the Mason Institute Medicolegal Symposium has now been released:

Medicolegal Symposium: Aspects of Neuro Law

Friday 13th November – Saturday 14th November 2015

St Leonard’s Hall, The University of Edinburgh


Friday 13th November


12.15          Registration desk opens. Tea and Coffee available on arrival

13.00          Welcome and Introduction to Neurolaw – Dr John Rumbold

13.30          Automatism and moral agency/criminal responsibility – Prof Neil Levy

14.30          Afternoon Tea/Coffee

14.45          Agency – Dr Lisa Claydon

15.30          Behavioural Assessments and the use of Neuroimaging in the criminal trial – Paul Catley/Dr Rajan (Taj) Nathan

 CONFERENCE DINNER 19.00 for 19.30, St Trinnean’s, University of Edinburgh


Saturday 14th November

09:00          Psychiatric Expert Work – Prof Keith Rix

10:00          Arguing Automatism in Court – TBA

11:00          Morning Tea/Coffee

11:15          Parasomnia or Dissociation: Complex Nocturnal Behaviour – Dr Ian Morrison

12.00          A Medico Legal Dilemma – Dr Renata Riha

13:00          Lunch

13:45          Psychotropic Drugs and Automatism – Prof David Healy

14:45          Law Commission Reforms of the Law on Insanity and Automatism – short presentations by Prof Ronnie Mackay and Dr John Rumbold followed by discussion

16:15 Tea and Coffee

16.30          Compulsive disorders related to Parkinson’s Disease Treatments – Dr Ian Morrison/Dr John Rumbold

17.30          Closing comments

17.35          Conference ends


Medico-legal Symposium: Aspects of Neurolaw

This symposium aims to provide up-to-date information on the theory and practice of neurolaw including sleep disorders and neuroimaging. This symposium is aimed at lawyers and medics. One of the main purposes of the course is to promote dialogue between the two professions, and so there is plenty of time included for discussion. This proved a successful feature of the previous medico-legal seminar, held at Keele University. The audience will be a mixture of practising and academic lawyers and medics.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand and be able to explain the concept of neurolaw
  2. Be able to identify and discuss some of the philosophical questions about what constitutes legal automatism
  3. Understand and be able to explain the issues in applying neuroscience to legal questions, particularly criminal responsibility
  4. Be able to identify the legal requirements for mental condition defences
  5. Be able to apply medical evidence to the legal criteria for particular mental condition defences
  6. Be able to demonstrate understanding of how particular medical conditions affect criminal responsibility
  7. Be able to demonstrate understanding of the effects of particular drugs on criminal responsibility
  8. Be able to apply medical evidence to sentencing decisions
  9. Be able to demonstrate the principles for giving expert testimony
  10. Understand and describe the differences between legal and medical perspectives on responsibility for actions
  11. Understand the limitations of medical and neuroscientific evidence
  12. Understand the terms of the debate about mental condition defences in the UK and potential reforms that have been proposed by the Law Commission

These learning objectives will be assessed by a questionnaire sent out to delegates which they can return for marking (voluntary). Delegates will also be asked to assess the course via a feedback sheet.



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