Annual Conference of the European Association of Psychology and Law

16-19 September 2020
Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, ROMANIA

Keynote speakers


We are proudly presenting you the keynote speakers for the EAPL's Annual Conference:


Dr. Victoria Talwar

Professor and a Canada Research Chair (II) in Forensic Developmental Psychology 

Dept. of Educational and Counselling Psychology, McGill University, Canada

Her research is in the area of developmental psychology with an emphasis on social-cognitive development. She is a leading expert on children’s verbal deception. She has published numerous articles on children's honesty and lie-telling behaviours as well as child witness credibility. She works with practitioners (educators, social workers, legal professionals) on research, training and knowledge mobilization. Among others distinctions, she was awarded the Society for Research on Child Development Outstanding Early Career Contributions to Child Development Research award, Fellow of American Psychological Association (Div 7), Fellow of Association for Psychological Science and member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada. Her research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canadian Foundation for Excellence, Natural Sciences Engineering Research Council, the National Science Foundation and Fonds de Recherche sur la Société et la Culture.

KEYNOTE: Liar, Liar Pants on Fire! The development of children’s verbal deception and the implications for child witness testimony

Honesty is a virtue that is highly valued in our society. It is viewed as a moral obligation, encouraged by parents and educators and required by clinicians, social workers, and legal professionals.  For the courts, the veracity of child witness testimony is central to the justice system where there are serious consequences for the child, the accused, and society. Thus, it is important to examine how children’s lie-telling abilities develop and the factors that can influence their truthfulness. Dr. Victoria Talwar will discuss research examining children’s developing lie-telling abilities and the factors that can influence their truthful disclosures. She will present research on how children’s lie-telling abilities emerge in the preschool years and their ability to successfully deceive increases with age. She will also discuss the influence of coaching on children’s reports and their abilities to keep the transgressor’s secret. Data on different methods of promoting children’s truthful reports will also be presented. She will discuss the implications for child witness competency and how the law has been changed in Canada in light of these findings.



Dr. Galit Nahari

Professor in the Department of Criminology

Bar-Ilan University, Israel 




She is currently the head of the department and its M.A. research track and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Legal and Criminological Psychology (LCP). Her research spans over a variety of topics in deception, investigative interviewing and decision-making. A prime contribution of her work is the widely recognized Verifiability Approach that has impacted both research orientation and professional training of verbal lie detection. She places a high emphasis on ecological validity and relevancy to the “real-world”, and thus she works closely with practitioners, promoting fruitful academia-field cooperation in high education, in research, and in training. She advises, lectures and conducts research and training workshops on verbal lie detection nationally and internationally.  

KEYNOTE: Verbal lie detection: When memory and strategy meet

Decades of research established the notion that liars and truth-tellers differ in their verbal utterance. The high relevancy of lie detection to all forms of investigative interviews has driven the exploration of the mechanisms underlying the observed utterance toward the development of effective diagnostic means. In this keynote, I will introduce two leading factors involved in shaping the utterance of liars and truth-tellers – strategy and memory. By discussing the roles of each factor alone as well as the dyad between them, I will further demonstrate that in given conditions it is not only liars that act strategically, and it is not only truth-tellers that are affected by the quality of their memory. Finally, I will discuss lie detection approaches and techniques that were developed in my research-lab within the strategy-memory interplay, and will further elaborate on their applicability in different contexts, and the challenges involved in applying them. In the course of it, I will share my perspectives on the optimal process, and the initial conditions required, for a successful implementation of tools that were developed in academia.

Dr. David La Rooy

Senior Lecturer in the School of Law and Social Sciences 

Royal Holloway, University of London, England


Dr La Rooy was first trained in forensic interviewing in 2004 after accepting a Post Doctoral Research Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Maryland, USA. He received specialist police training on child forensic interviewing, as well as training in the assessment of the quality of investigative interviews conducted with children alleging abuse. He is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychology Society, and is currently an internationally recognized expert in forensic interviewing. Dr. La Rooy's international visibility in the field of psychology and law is also seconded by the numerous distinctions received, as the Academic Excellence Award granted by the International Investigative Interviewers Research Group (iIIRG). He provides specialist training to Police, Social Work, Solicitors, Lawyers, Advocates, Sheriffs, and Judges. His research focuses on the best ways to interview child victims in police investigations with a particular interest on the dynamics of conducting multiple interviews.

KEYNOTE: The dynamics of repeated interviews with children in legal contexts

For many years, forensic interviewers have been advised not to interview alleged victims of child sexual abuse more than once because it may be distressing for victims to be asked to revisit painful memories, and also because repeated interviewing is believed both to increase the amount of inaccurate and suggestive information in children’s reports. As a result, many professional guidelines recommend the ‘done-in-one’ rule that specifies alleged victims are formally interviewed only once about their experiences. Over the previous decade new research has continued to be published that highlights the potential benefits of providing alleged victims with additional opportunities to recall their experiences across repeated interviews. In this presentation I will outline the controversy and differing opinions about the dynamics of repeated interviews within legal contexts. I will introduce key pieces of research that have shaped professional thinking over the years and share some of my experiences of working with repeated interviews on expert witness cases. I will conclude by looking towards the future and focus on issues I believe still need to be more fully considered.


Dr. Maria M. Ttofi

University Lecturer in Psychological Criminology

Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, England





Her academic work revolves around two main areas, namely: (a) developmental criminology, with a focus on early risk and protective factors for offending behaviour and desistance from crime and (b) experimental criminology, with a focus on systematic reviews, meta-analysis and programme evaluation. She has conducted a series of systematic reviews in the area of youth aggression, including two updated 2019 meta-analyses on the effectiveness of face-to-face bullying and cyberbullying prevention programmes. She has also conducted research on the long-term mental health outcomes of different offending trajectories and on intergenerational transmission of offending and mental health. She is a life member of Clare Hall College and worked as Title C Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge.

KEYNOTE: Mental health and crime: Links with offender rehabilitation

Despite the wealth of major prospective longitudinal studies in criminology, recent work highlighted the lack of research in identifying distinct offending pathways based on criminal career duration. Research on offending trajectories is important, not only for investigating early predictors of criminal career duration, but also for identifying discrete mental health outcomes of variability in criminal career duration. In this keynote, differing levels of mental health --anxiety and depression in particular-- across adolescence-limited, late-onset and life-course persistent offending groups are presented. Results are drawn from a systematic-and meta-analytic review of prospective longitudinal data analyses. Research is also presented on another under researched topic, that of intergenerational transmission of offending and mental health problems. Findings are based on the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development, a three-generation prospective longitudinal study. Implications about addressing the mental health needs of offenders and links with offender rehabilitation are addressed at the third part of the presentation.


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