Empirical findings demonstrate that neuroscientific expertise is increasingly prevalent in courtrooms. This suggests that both “territorial conflicts” between law and neuroscience—- for example about how to conceptualize concepts like culpability—and questions regarding the integration of neuroscience and law, which both have long been present in theoretical discussions, are now finding their way to legal practice. As jurisdictions around the globe differ on multiple dimensions (e.g., on how concepts like culpability are conceptualized, embedded in legal doctrine, and how integration of neuroscience takes place within (procedural) legal frameworks) analyses on a national level are needed next to universal endeavors. In this article, the Dutch situation will be addressed. First, we will assess whether the theoretical notions underlying Dutch criminal law are compatible with the theoretical discussion between neuroscience and legal doctrine. Second, we turn to empirical evidence as to the way neuroscientific information is brought into Dutch legal practice. Finally, we will examine how (well) the current practice of forensic assessment is able to accommodate neuroscientific information. Herewith, we aim to illustrate that the manner of integration is indeed dependent on jurisdiction specific features and that the international debate would benefit from more national perspectives.

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doi.org/10.1080/14999013.2018.1525778, hdl.handle.net/1765/120537
VSNU Open Access deal
International Journal of Forensic Mental Health
Erasmus School of Law

Noyon, L, van der Wolf, M., Mevis, P., & van Marle, H. (2019). Integrating Neuroscience in Criminal Law: The Dutch Situation as an Example. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 18(3), 281–291. doi:10.1080/14999013.2018.1525778