Summer 2021 - PSYC 268 J100

Introduction to Law and Psychology (3)

Class Number: 3835

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 5:30 PM – 8:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 16, 2021
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

  • 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.


Most classes will be synchronous including 2 review classes and 4 in-class tutorial components in which students are led through their writing assignments for the final 1/3 of class time.

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.


  • Mid-Term Exam: 25%
  • Writing Assignments: 30%
  • Final Exam: 45%


This course includes 2 review classes (optional to attend) and 4 in-class tutorial components in which
students are led through their writing assignments for the final 1/3 of class time.



The textbook will be made available online for free to students.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site 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.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods, but we will continue to have in-person experiential activities for a selection of courses.  Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges 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. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112).