Centre for the Study of Emotion and Law

Centre for the Study of Emotion and Law

Charity information

Centre for the Study of Emotion and Law

We are building a body of knowledge regarding psychological aspects of asylum decision making in the UK. For example, when someone is applying for sanctuary in the UK, they have to disclose everything that has happened to them at their first interview, but we have shown that when people are traumatised by their experiences – especially if they have been raped, they often have difficulty disclosing everything. We conduct, supervise and disseminate high quality research studies into the interface of emotion (including psychological vulnerabilities) and law, specifically the asylum process in the UK. We publish in high impact, peer-reviewed journals; we conduct training and presentations in order to disseminate our findings to all those in a position to ensure the application of these research findings to decision making in the asylum process : judges, decision makers, lawyers and representatives, advisors, healthcare professionals and support workers.

We have had our research accepted by high impact, peer-reviewed journals such as the British Journal of Psychiatry and the International Journal of Refugee Law. Our papers are used in asylum seekers’ appeal hearings, sometimes helping them to get justice. Our director has been voted an Associate Member of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges and she sits on two of their working parties, helping to write international guidelines for Judges. We have provided training to Immigration Lawyers and we were asked to advise the Independent Asylum Commission in the writing of their final reports. The director is a key member of PsyRAS, a professional group who are currently engaging the UK Border Agency in a dialogue about asylum decision making. All these are evidence that our research is being taken seriously in the asylum decision making process, both at an individual and policy level.

We currently need funds to continue our research which will explore some of the reasons why traumatised people may not be able to give a consistent account of their experiences and making sure that this is understood by decision makers, who may be making life or death decisions about very vulnerable people.

See www. Csel. Org. Uk to read our papers and learn more.

Founded 2007