Criminal Justice Conference 2021

The Criminal Justice Conference 2021 is about the autistic defendant in the courtroom: from a legal and psychological perspective.

When being interviewed by police or while being questioned during court proceedings, vulnerabilities in adults are not always identified. The ability to negotiate the criminal justice process may be particularly complex and difficult for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autistic defendants may exhibit unusual or maladaptive behaviours during offending or court proceedings which may be misinterpreted leading to potentially prejudicial impressions. Research to date and case law shows that judges are often not aware of the potential significance of ASD.

The Criminal Justice Conference 2021 explores these issues from a psychological and legal perspective.


Autism and Social Justice System. Credit to Eventbrite


Topic: The Autistic Defendant in the Courtroom – Current Issues and Considerations

Organiser: Dr Clare Allely

Presenters: Dr Clare Allely (University of Salford in Manchester, England), Professor Felicity Gerry QC (International Criminal Court in The Hague, Professor of Legal Practice at Deakin University and an Honorary Professor at Salford University), Professor Eddie Chaplin (Professor of Mental Health in Neurodevelopmental Disorders in the Department of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities in the School of Health and Social Care at LSBU)

Location: Online event through Zoom sessions

Date: 11 November 2021

Time: 05:00 PM – 08:30 PM (Tbilisi time)


Conference Schedule:

01:00 PM – 01:10 PM – Welcome and introduction.

01:10 PM – 02:10 PM – Autism spectrum disorder in the courtroom: Why it is important to recognise this disorder in defendants. Presentation: Dr Clare Allely, Reader in Forensic Psychology, University of Salford and Expert Witness.

02:10 PM – 02:20 PM – 10-minute break

02:20 PM – 03.05 PM – Complicity and injustices – lessons from cases on joint enterprise and Autism. Presentation: Felicity Gerry QC, Libertas Chambers, London and Salford University.

03:05 PM – 03:10 PM – 5-minute break

03:10 PM – 03:40 PM – Learning from a specialist Liaison and Diversion (L&D) service for defendants with neurodevelopmental conditions. Presentation: Professor Eddie Chaplin, Professor of Mental Health in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, London South Bank University.

03:40 PM – 03:50 PM – 10-minute break.

03:50 PM – 04:20 PM – Panel Discussion (Dr Clare Allely, Professor Eddie Chaplin & Felicity Gerry QC) and Q&A.

04:20 PM – 04:30 PM – Closing remarks


This event will be of interest to:

  • Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (or autistic individuals) and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • General public.
  • Family and friends of individuals with autism or autistic individuals
  • Academics (e.g., psychologists, criminologists, law, social policy, social work).
  • Criminal Justice Professionals (e.g., police officers, prison staff, probation officers, custody officers)
  • Lawyers, Judges, Barristers
  • Educators
  • Social workers
  • Policymakers