Book launch! Sunday 19th February

David Tait and Jane Goodman-Delahunty

Juries, Science and Popular Culture in the Age of Terror: The Case of the Sydney Bomber

To be launched by Chris Lennard, Greg Battye and Sophia Beckett

Terrorism has become an everyday reality in most contemporary societies. Bombs explode in popular venues, public buildings turn into fortresses and laws are tightened that threaten fundamental rights. In a context of heightened fear can juries be trusted to remain impartial when confronted by defendants charged with terrorism? Do they scrutinize prosecution cases carefully, or does emotion trump reason once the spectre of terrorism is invoked?

This book examines these questions from a range of disciplinary perspectives. The authors look at the how jurors in terrorism trials are likely to respond to gruesome evidence, including beheading videos. The ‘CSI effect’ is examined as a possible response to forensic evidence, and jurors with different learning preferences are compared. Virtual interactive environments, built like computer games, may be created to provide animated reconstructions of the prosecution or defence case. This book reports on how to create such presentations, culminating in the analysis of a live simulated trial using interactive visual displays followed by jury deliberations.

The team of international, transdisciplinary experts draw conclusions of global legal and political significance, and contribute to the growing scholarship on comparative counter-terrorism law. The book will be of great interest to scholars, students and practitioners of law, criminal justice, forensic science and psychology.

David Tait is Professor of Justice Research at Western Sydney University, Australia, and Adjunct Professor at Telecom Paristech, France. His research focuses on how to make justice environments and processes more humane. His recent work includes Fortress or Sanctuary: Enhancing Court Safety by Managing People, Places and Processes (2014), and reviews of the prejudicial effect of the dock in criminal trials.

Jane Goodman-Delahunty is a Research Professor at Charles Sturt University, Australia, and Member of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Her recent books include Legal Psychology in Australia (2015), Trends in Legal Advocacy: Interviews with Leading Prosecutors and Defence Lawyers around the Globe (2016) and Juries and Expert Evidence in Criminal Trials (2016). She is also a former President of ANZAPPL NSW.

Please click here for more information and to RSVP.