ANZAPPL’s constitution commits it to exploring the relationship between psychiatry, psychology and the law. ANZAPPL has as its objectives to:

  • Promote co-operation and communication between the disciplines of psychiatry, psychology and law related fields;
  • Promote research into issues and problems in forensic psychiatry, forensic psychology, and areas of law and other disciplines in which psychiatry and psychology have a relevance;
  • Promote informed public and professional discussion about contemporary issues in forensic psychiatry, forensic psychology and areas of law and other disciplines in which psychiatry and psychology have a relevance; and
  • Disseminate information regarding research and developments in forensic psychiatry, forensic psychology and areas of law and other disciplines in which psychiatry and psychology have a relevance.


ANZAPPL is an interdisciplinary organisation that was established in 1978 by the late Melbourne forensic psychiatrist, Dr Robert (Bob) Myers, who identified deficits in the level of understanding of relevant issues amongst all three professional groups.

ANZAPPL has lively branches in Adelaide, Auckland/Wellington, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney. Formal branches in Brisbane and Hobart are imminent.

ANZAPPL’s founder, Dr Myers, was a psychiatrist with ubiquitous interests (including sex offending, plethysmography, ethical issues, sexual abuse, report writing and expert evidence) and a commitment to improving dialogue amongst the professions and interdisciplinary co-operation. A long-term attender at American Academy of Psychiatry and Law (AAPL) conferences, he was determined to weld a body that gave equal respect and attention to forensic psychiatry and psychology. He was a charismatic speaker, a respected expert witness and report-writer, a great traveller and raconteur, and a gourmand. In the best of senses he was a bon vivant. Under his reins (1978-1988) ANZAPPL became a genial, tolerant and innovative scholarly organisation with a sharp focus upon mental health practice and the law. Dr Myers had a great knack of drawing in contributions from an extraordinary diversity of sources and then of making contributors feel valued and heard.


Over its history, ANZAPPL has had presidents from a variety of disciplines:

  • 1978-1988: Robert Myers, a Melbourne forensic psychiatrist;
  • 1988-1991: Deidre Greig, a criminologist from the University of Melbourne;
  • 1991-1997: Ian Freckelton, a Melbourne barrister;
  • 1997-1999: Ken O’Brien, an Adelaide forensic psychiatrist;
  • 1999-2001: Yvonne Skinner, a Sydney psychiatrist;
  • 2001-2005: Warren Brookbanks, a mental health law academic from Auckland University;
  • 2005-2007: Alfred Allan, a forensic psychologist and lawyer from Edith Cowan University;
  • 2007-2010: James Ogloff, a forensic psychologist from Monash University and Forensicare;
  • 2010- 2013: Jane Goodman-Delahunty, a forensic psychologist and lawyer from Charles Sturt University;
  • 2013-2015: Nigel Fairley, a Consultant Psychologist and Director of Mental Health for Capital and Coast Health Board, NZ; and
  • 2015-present: Bernadette McSherry, Foundation Director of the Melbourne Social Equity Institute at the University of Melbourne and professor specialising in criminal law, mental health law and psychology.

Thus, its presidents have been practitioners and academics, lawyers, criminologists, psychologists and psychiatrists. They have also emanated originally from Africa, North America and Europe and latterly from Adelaide, Auckland, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.


 ANZAPPL’s first patron was Sir George Lush, a highly regarded judge of the Victorian Supreme Court. Sir George had a committed involvement in fostering and encouraging ANZAPPL from its earliest days. After Sir George’s death, the Honourable Justice Michael Kirby CMG AC of the Australian High Court and Judge Ken Mason of the New Zealand District Court consented to being ANZAPPL’s patrons. Both have a long history of interest and involvement in issues related to mental health and the law.


 ANZAPPL commenced with dinner meetings, at first at Bob Myers’ house, and then at Melbourne restaurants and university premises, where presentations were given by speakers and good food and wine consumed. Such dinner meetings continue regularly as of 2008 in Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney,  and Wellington.

From 1979 ANZAPPL hosted annual themed congresses. At first these took place at university colleges in Melbourne. From the outset, the congresses have been trans-Tasman, attended by persons from throughout Australia and New Zealand, and involved leading international figures from Europe, North America and Asia as keynote speakers. From the early days, the congresses have also incorporated half and full day workshops, including training sessions for expert witnesses and report-writers some of them in the initial period run by Dr Myers.

Another feature of the congresses, generated by Dr Myers, has been a session in which some form of provocative interaction, involving a mock-trial, a debate or a hypothetical, takes place in a suitable setting. One involved three ANZAPPL members being processed through reception at Pentridge Prison in Melbourne – a memorable experience for the participants that incorporated internal body cavity searches, psychosocial history-taking by prison officers, and an introduction to custodial food. Another involved an attack upon the Family Court.

ANZAPPL congress dinners have also been memorable for their locations (one took place at the Old Melbourne Gaol) the quality of their food and wine, and their congeniality.

ANZAPPL commenced to circulate its conferences throughout Australasia in the mid-1990s:

  • Fremantle (1995);
  • Melbourne (1996);
  • Adelaide (1997);
  • Melbourne (1998);
  • Sydney (1999);
  • Auckland (2000);
  • Melbourne (2001);
  • Darwin (2002);
  • Fremantle (2003);
  • Port Douglas (2004);
  • Wellington (2005);
  • Melbourne (2006);
  • Adelaide (2007);
  • Sydney (2008);
  • Perth (2009);
  • Gold Coast (2010);
  • Wellington (2011);
  • Melbourne (2012);
  • Adelaide (2013);
  • Sydney (2014);
  • Canberra (2015).

In 1988 ANZAPPL held a joint congress with the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law (in association with its 9th congress) and in 1999 it informally participated in the First International Congress of Psychology and Law in Dublin. In 2003 it was a full participant at the second such conference with the European Association of Psychology and Law and the American Psychology-Law Society in Edinburgh in 2003. ANZAPPL hosted the Third International Congress of Psychology and Law, in association with its 27th Annual Congress, in Adelaide in 2007.

ANZAPPL’s branches in New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria have also hosted symposia on a wide variety of subjects, a number of them in rural locations, and one off-shore in Tonga in 2000. ANZAPPL (South Australia) has had a number of such gatherings in its wine fields and ANZAPPL (Victoria) a series at Lorne, a residential meeting within the walls of a decommissioned prison in Castlemaine and another in Marysville in May 2008 on political issues in psychiatry, psychology and law.

ANZAPPL has also hosted debates and discussions about mooted legislation within the mental health law area, an example in 2007 being a dusk seminar in Melbourne on sex offender monitoring and detention.


 Commencing in 1985, until the start of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law in 1993 proceedings of ANZAPPL conferences were edited and published:

  • D Greig and E Berah (ed), Civil Rights in Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Proceedings of the 6th Annual ANZAPPL Congress, ANZAPPL, Melbourne, 1985;
  • E Berah and D Greig (ed), Professional Responsibility in Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Proceedings of the 7th Annual ANZAPPL Congress, ANZAPPL, Melbourne, 1986;
  • E Berah and D Greig (ed), Community Issues in Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Proceedings of the 8th Annual ANZAPPL Congress, ANZAPPL, Melbourne, 1987;
  • D Greig and I Freckelton (ed), International Perspectives on Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Proceedings of the 9th Annual ANZAPPL Congress, ANZAPPL, Melbourne, 1988;
  • D Greig (ed), The Margins of the Professions, ANZAPPL, Melbourne, 1988;
  • D Greig and I Freckelton (ed), Emerging Issues for the 1990s in Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Proceedings of the 10th Annual ANZAPPL Congress, ANZAPPL, Melbourne, 1989;
  • D Greig and I Freckelton (ed), The Patient, the Law and the Professional, Proceedings of the 11th Annual ANZAPPL Congress, ANZAPPL, Melbourne, 1990;
  • I Freckelton, D Greig and M McMahon (ed), Forensic Issues in Mental Health, Proceedings of the 12th Annual ANZAPPL Congress; ANZAPPL, Melbourne, 1991;
  • I Freckelton, A Knowles and J Mulvany (ed), Current Controversies in Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, ANZAPPL, Melbourne, Proceedings of the 13th Annual ANZAPPL Congress, 1992.

They continue to be indexed in the indexes of authors, subjects and book reviews published periodically in Psychiatry, Psychology and Law.


 The ANZAPPL journal is Psychiatry, Psychology and Law. It was published twice a year between 1993 and 2007 by Australian Academic Press and from 2008 is published three times per year by Taylor and Francis.

An editorial attempt has been made to keep the majority of articles published in Psychiatry, Psychology and Law accessible and interesting for a wide cross-section of readers. Thus, for instance, where an analysis is partly statistical, authors are encouraged to explain in straightforward terms how they interpret the technical results of their studies. Likewise, lawyers writing for the journal are encouraged to eschew excessive legal technicality and to write in a comprehensible, jargon-free way, using, where possible, medium-neutral citations so that the significance of their analyses can be appreciated by non-lawyers. Referencing in profession-friendly styles for psychiatrists, psychologists and lawyers is one of the characteristics of the journal in order to facilitate provision of manuscripts by professionals across a variety of different areas.

An aspect of the journal’s breadth is that Psychiatry, Psychology and Law publishes articles that grapple with issues arising in relation to psychiatric and psychological practice in the correctional, administrative law, criminal law, personal injury law and even commercial law areas. Articles and reviews have functioned as barometers of controversy within the area, engaging with debates in relation to matters such as syndromes, cults, dissociative identity disorder, criminal profiling, leucotomies, child abuse, involuntary detention of those with psychiatric illnesses, controversial psychometric tests, sex offender monitoring, pharmacotherapeutic treatments, risk prediction  instruments, war crime mental health defences, and new perspectives on psychiatry, psychology and law, such as those generated by positive psychology and therapeutic jurisprudence.

A broad view has been taken of law and legal processes by the journal’s editor and the editorial committee, resulting in the publication of articles that cross over many different areas of discourse and theoretical approach. Examples include articles dealing with positive psychology, drug rehabilitation, therapeutic jurisprudence, psychotropic medications, and changing correctional environments.

Many articles in the journal and the publications of ANZAPPL congresses have been broad-ranging and policy-focused reviews of current issues in relation to the mental health professions and the law. A component has been directed toward proposed reform of mental health laws in Australia and New Zealand and also in other parts of the world. An attempt is made to provide an opportunity for practitioners of many kinds to reflect upon the practical and conceptual issues which impact upon law and mental health at a local, national and international level. Flexibility has been offered in relation to article length, in order to facilitate genuine inter-disciplinarity, internationalism and topicality.

Articles on relevant subject-matter have been published in the journal from criminologists, sociologists, historians, librarians, anthropologists, forensic nurses and others, as well as by psychiatrists, psychologists and lawyers. Again, this inclusiveness attempts to be reflective of ANZAPPL membership and history which traditionally have had an interest in empirical work, theoretical overviews, scholarly analyses, current controversies, and practical focuses of a kind likely to assist both clinical and curial work. Another characteristic of the journal is its preparedness to engage in debate about contemporary areas of controversy in a constructive and respectful way. All manuscripts are peer- reviewed but an environment of lively discourse and debate has been encouraged which facilitates airing of views which are fresh and thought-provoking.

A regular feature in the journal has been case and legislation commentaries which have reviewed important case law developments and statutory innovations in the mental health area. The journal also publishes book reviews in almost every issue and, where appropriate, letters to the editor.


 Starting also in 1990, ANZAPPL instituted the Myers Lecture, the first of which was given by Dr Myers when he was terminally ill. Most of the lectures have been published in Psychiatry, Psychology and Law. The lectures are free and open to the public. From their outset they have been co-hosted by Monash University. The lectures have been given on a wide variety of lively and controversial subjects:

  • 1990: Dr Robert G Myers, Forensic Psychiatrist, Melbourne;
  • 1991: Professor John Monahan, Professor of Law and of Psychology, University of Virginia;
  • 1992: Dr Steve Hucker, University of Toronto and Forensic Division, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry;
  • 1993: Professor Paul Mullen, Department of Psychological Medicine, Monash University;
  • 1994: Professor Neil Jacobson, Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle;
  • 1995:Professor Marcia Neave, Faculty of Law, Monash University (“The Gender of Judging” (1995) 2(1) PPL 3) ;
  • 1996: Professor Theodore Blau, Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, Tampa (“Addiction and the Law” (1996) 3(2) PPL 87);
  • 1997: Professor Nathaniel McConaghy, School of Psychiatry, University of NSW (“Science and the Mismanagement of Rapists and Paedophiles” (1997) 4(2) PPL 109);
  • 1998: Dr Sandra Hacker, Liaison Psychiatrist, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne; Vice-President, Australian Medical Association(“Prescription vs Litigation: Doctors and Lawyers – Pervasive Paradigms and Clashing Cultures” (1999) 6(1) PPL 5);
  • 1999: Professor Thomas Grisso, University of Massachusetts (“Juvenile Offenders and Mental Illness” (1999) 6(2) PPL 143);
  • 2000: The Hon Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG, High Court of Australia (“Psychiatry, Psychology, Law and Homosexuality – Uncomfortable Bedfellows” (2000) 7(1) PPL 139);
  • 2001: Professor James Ogloff, School of Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine, Monash University, and Forensicare (“Identifying and Accommodating the Needs of Mentally Ill People in Gaols and Prisons” (2002) 9(1) PPL 1);
  • 2002: Professor Jennifer Raden, Department of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts (“Forced Medication, Patients’ Rights and Values Conflicts” (2003) 10(1) PPL 1);
  • 2003: Professor Kevin Howells, School of Psychology, University of South Australia (“Anger and its Links to Violent Offending”(2004) 11(2) PPL 189);
  • 2004: Professor Robert Hare, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Canada;
  • 2005, Professor Ian Freckelton, Barrister, Melbourne, Law Faculty, School of Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine, Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University (“Untimely Death, Law and Suicide” (2005) 12(2) PPL 265);
  • 2006: Professor Bruce Winick, University of Miami (“A Therapeutic Jurisprudence Approach to Dealing with Coercion in the Mental Health System” (2008) 15(1) PPL);
  • 2007: Professor Bill Lindsay, University of Abertay, Dundee, Scotland ( (2008) PPL);
  • 2008: Professor Terry Carney, Law Faculty, University of Sydney ((2009) PPL).