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Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and the criminal law



This research project will explore the Queensland criminal justice system response to defendants who have Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), particularly the issues of defending and sentencing defendants who have FASD.

The capacity to plead to offences may be an issue and sentencing is also a challenge for courts, as the principle of specific deterrence is rarely useful.

As part of this project, interviews will be undertaken with field officers, legal representatives and representatives of the Murri, Drug, Special Circumstances and Mental Health Court who have supported, represented, and dealt with defendants with FASD.

The research aims to identify appropriate criminal justice practices in dealing with and responding to defendants who have FASD.

Abstract adapted from the University of Queensland


Associate Professor Heather Douglas
TC Beirne School of Law
W335 Forgan Smith building, St Lucia campus
University of Queensland
Ph: (07) 336 56605
Fax: (07) 336 51454


Last updated: 14 April 2016
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