Psychology and law in Australia

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Title

Australian handbook of careers in psychological science


University of Southern Queensland


School of Arts and Humanities / Sellenger Centre for Research in Law, Justice and Social Change




Alla, A., & Allan, M.M. (2022). Psychology and law in Australia. In Rowling, S. & Andersen, N. (eds). The Australian Handbook for Careers in Psychological Science. University of Southern Queensland.


The extensive interaction between psychology and law – which we broadly define as the legal, corrective, investigative, and justice systems (Allan, 2020) – is sometimes referred to as the psycholegal field (as it will be in this chapter). The field can be divided into four levels: the law of psychology, psychology and law, psychology of law, and psychology in law, which we will use to structure this chapter. We will identify the roles and careers psychologists can have at each level, and where relevant, refer to research at this level. We will then briefly discuss how one qualifies to work at each of these levels, before concluding by explaining what it’s like to work in the psycholegal field.

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