"Current Challenges for Psychology and Law"
in August 2015
It is with great pleasure that I invite you to the International Conference on Psychology & Law in Nuremberg 4-7 August 2015. My colleagues and I are organizing this conference on behalf of the European Association of Psychology and Law to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of EAPL that was launched in Nuremberg in 1990. We hope that you will join us in our celebration of this highly successful scientific society. There will be a lot of scholarly and other activities that attract researchers, practitioners and policy makers who are interested in the interface of Law and Psychology.
We will not only get together European colleagues, but have a joint meeting with the American Psychology & Law Society (AP & LS) and the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry and Psychology of Law (ANZAPPL). To my knowledge, EAPL is the only European association in psychology that holds such joint conferences with sister organizations from other parts of the world. We also hope to welcome colleagues from East Asia, South America, the Middle East and Africa.
The Division of Psychology & Law of the German Society of Psychology is co-hosting the Nuremberg event. This gives our colleagues from other countries the opportunity to learn about what is going on in P & L in a country, where psychology as an academic discipline has been established in the 19th century by Wilhelm Wundt and where Hugo Münsterberg, William Stern and other famous scholars of forensic psychology originated.
The scientific program of the conference will cover the entire width of P & L. On the one hand, there will be sessions on classical topics of forensic and criminological psychology such as eyewitness testimony, criminal responsibility, delinquent development, risk assessment, offender treatment, juridical decision making, and psychology in family or civil law cases. In addition, we expect contributions on actual themes such as terrorism, violence at schools, psycho-legal issues of migration, early prevention, sexual offending, hooliganism, and brain research on the concept of free will. The field of P & L is not narrowly defined, neither by areas of law and psychology nor in relation to other disciplines, i.e. psychiatry, sociology, neurobiology, public health, social work, pedagogics, political and economic science. Therefore, we invite all colleagues from neighbor disciplines who work on topics in the interface of P & L to come to Nuremberg.
Beyond the scientific program of the conference the city of Nuremberg is worth a visit. From the 14th to the 17th century Nuremberg was one of the major cities in Germany and Europe. After his election the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation held his first ‘Reichstag’ at the free imperial city and the regalia of his power were stored there “forever” (de facto for ca. 400 years). Nuremberg was also the home town of the famous painter Albrecht Dürer, many other artists and inventers. You can get an impression of this great history in numerous museums and in the old city center that was partially rebuilt after destruction in World War II.
After the war the ‘Nuremberg Trials’ were held to prosecute prominent leaders of Nazi Germany. These trials led to principles of the prosecution of international war crimes, crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity that had lasting impact on global justice. The trials were also important from the perspective of P & L (see the books of Gustave Gilbert). We will arrange a guided visit to the courtroom where the Nuremberg Trials took place and visits of the documentation center at the area of the Nazi propaganda rallies. Nuremberg has developed sensible strategies to cope with this brief dark period of its history by promoting human rights issues. The ‘Way of Human Rights’ with pillars that contain the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in different languages and the International Nuremberg Human Rights Award indicate this engagement.
Nuremberg is located in Franconia (North Bavaria). This is a region not only full of history, beautiful towns and landscapes, but also a culinary hub. Nuremberg sausages, gingerbread, roasted meat, local fish, wine and beer are attractive side orders to P & L. Only those who are interested in football (soccer) may be less enthusiastic. While Germany won the Worldcup in 2014, the First Football Club of Nuremberg descended from the ‘Bundesliga’ and currently it does not look as if they will return in 2015. If my prediction is wrong, we could celebrate this at the conference dinner in a beautiful historical restaurant.
On behalf of the Organizing Committee and EAPL