The Centre for the Study of Emotion and Law has its roots in a research project which set out to empirically investigate the basis for the assumption, common in asylum claim determinations, that traumatic memories are always consistently and accurately recalled.

When we tested this assumption using replicable scientific methodology, we found that there are good reasons why people might not be able to produce a detailed, consistent memory of traumatic experiences in their lives. Read more about this study here. Read more about the difference that scientific research methodology can make here.

We uphold the highest standards of empirical research, using established methodologies and submitting our studies to ethical scrutiny and peer review processes. In this way we can be confident that we are making available the best possible scientific knowledge to legal decision making processes.

We offer this website as a Resource Hub for decision makers, legal and clinical practitioners, supporters, policy-makers and campaigners. Find research here to answer important questions, or support crucial arguments, about human behaviour, responses to traumatic experiences, memory and disclosure.

Our current strategic goals reflect the three crucial areas of CSEL :

Research Goals

To continue to research credibility assessment issues within refugee and humanitarian protection law

To expand to groups other than refugees, initially victims of sexual assault

To expand to other areas of legal procedure - e.g. giving evidence, interviewing

Dissemination Goals

To continue to disseminate CSEL research findings

To develop a training programme - including funded & income-generating

Development Goals

To expand and diversify our funding base

To develop & implement media & communications strategies to promote understanding of CSEL's work in the wider public

To implement measures of the impact of CSEL research in legal decision making