Spring 2022 - PSYC 268 D100

Introduction to Law and Psychology (3)

Class Number: 1633

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    SSCC 9002, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 19, 2022
    11:59 PM – 11:59 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    PSYC 102.



An introduction to the area of law and psychology. The role and influence of psychology in the legal system will be discussed. Topics include: social psychology and law, developmental psychology and law, juvenile justice, experimental psychology and law, mental disability and law.


This is an introductory course. It is designed to give students an up-to-date overview of forensic psychology; a field existing at the crossroads of (civil and criminal) law and psychology. This course may be of particular interest to criminology, sociology, and psychology students. Students intending to go into law, policing, or pursuing graduate studies may find this course particularly interesting.


The primary focus will be on issues related to psychology and criminal law, although some issues related to civil law will be discussed as well (e.g., civil commitment, child custody).

Topics include: the Canadian criminal justice system, pretrial issues such as police investigations/interrogations and confessions, trial issues such as expert testimony and eyewitness testimony, and post-trial issues including sentencing, rehabilitation, and parole.

Special populations including children and juveniles in the justice systems will be considered as well as mental health issues related to fitness to stand trial and particular defences.

The two major objectives of the course are to introduce students to: (a) basic issues in law and psychology, focusing specifically on Canadian law; and (b) the application of theory and methods from clinical and experimental psychology to various legal issues.


  • Quizzes: 40%
  • Assignments: 40%
  • Final: 20%


Classes will be offered primarily in-person, unless the BC or SFU health directives change.

Lectures are not recorded. Most lecture adhere to the following format: 100 minutes lecture, 50 minutes tutorial.



Roesch, R., Zapf, P. A., Hart, S. D., & Connolly, D. A. (2014). Forensic psychology and law: A Canadian perspective. Toronto, ON: Wiley.

Note: You do not need to purchase this book. The required readings will be provided to you at the start of class free of charge.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.