Legal Psychology

Legal Psychology
The course will provide the knowledge and introduce experience related to the
areas of intervention that characterise the presence of the psychologist in a legal
context in a civil and penal ambit, with special attention given to differences and
similarities in the epistemological approach and to the areas of limitation between
the disciplines of the law and of psychology.
The aim of the course is to stimulate students’ thought on both the topics of the
relationship between different sciences and on the differences in methods and
objectives found in them, and in the daily operativeness by which psychology
becomes a discipline applied to the world of justice, which has precise norms and
procedures to be respected and fields of active cooperation among the operators, in
which the psychologist is asked to intervene in strict collaboration with workers in
the legal system (lawyers and judges).
The supposition that guides thought is that the legal context can constitute a useful
and opportune frame for clinical psychological interventions targeted at recovering
interpersonal resources, both in family relationships and in the work ones that are
established among the operators involved, for the recovery and promotion of
family and social wellbeing.
The following topics will be covered during the course
– Differences and analogies between the legal world and the world of psychology
in theoretical and applicative references
– The history of the psychological intervention in the legal ambit
– The advice of the psychologist to the judge, areas of competence and contexts
– Differences in the clinical psychological intervention between the compulsory
context and the context of the voluntary request for consultation/therapy
– The Family and the Court: the aspects of assessment, judgement, support
– Psychological intervention in the context of separation and of divorce
– Violence in the couple and on the family, the phenomenon of stalking
– The need to safeguard minor victims or authors of crime or in situations of
developmental risk
– Waiting for justice and the sense of punishment
– Remedies and alternative measures to prison for convicted minors and adults.
– The psycho-social services of the Minister of Justice and the territorial ones, the
Child Protection Services
– Waiting for justice and the sense of punishment
– Psychological interventions inside the prison context
A.SALVINI-A.RAVASIO-T.DA ROS, Psicologia clinica giuridica, Giunti, Firenze , 2008
G. ZARA, La psicologia criminale minorile, Carocci, Roma, 2006.
CIGOLI-GALIMBERTI-MOMBELLI, Il legame disperante, R. Cortina, re-edition 2008.
The course material will be available for download on the lecturer’s webpage.
Further information on the reading list will be given at lectures and published on the
lecturer’s webpage.
Laws to be studied (They are available on “Normative” file; the paper documents at Ufficio
“Riforma del diritto di famiglia” n° 151/75.
“Disciplina dei casi di scioglimento del matrimonio” n° 898/70.
“Nuove norme sui casi di scioglimento del matrimonio” n° 74/87.
“Disposizioni in materia di separazione dei genitori e affidamento condiviso dei figli”, Law
8 February 2006, n° 54.
“Disciplina dell’adozione e dell’affidamento dei minori” Law n° 184/83.
“Modifiche alla legge 4 maggio 1983, n.54 in tema di adozione di minori stranieri” Law 31
December 1998, n° 476.
“Modifiche alla legge 4 maggio 1983 n. 184 recante “Disciplina dell’adozione e
dell’affidamento dei minori, nonché al titolo VIII del libro primo del codice civile” n°
“Approvazione delle disposizioni sul processo penale a carico di imputati minorenni”
D.P.R. 22 September 1988, n° 448.
“Norme sull'ordinamento penitenziario e sulla esecuzione delle misure privative e limitative
della libertà” Law 26 July 1975, n° 354.
“Modifiche alla legge sull'ordinamento penitenziario e sulla esecuzione delle misure
privative e limitative della libertà” Law 10 October 1986, n° 663 (Gozzini law).
“Modifiche all'articolo 656 c.p.p. e alla legge 26 luglio 1975 n. 354” Law 27 May 1998, n°
165 (Simeone-Saraceni law).
“Regolamento recante norme sull'ordinamento penitenziario e sulle misure privative e
limitative della libertà” DPR 30 June 2000, n° 230.
“Norme contro la violenza sessuale” Law 15 February 1996, n° 66.
“Norme contro lo sfruttamento della prostituzione, della pornografia, del turismo sessuale
in danno di minori, quali nuove forme di riduzione in schiavitù” Law 3 August 1998, n°
“Misure contro la violenza nelle relazioni familiari” Law 5 April 2001, n° 154.
“Disposizioni in materia di riconoscimento dei figli naturali” Law 10 december 2012 n.
The course will consist of:
– periods of lectures in the lecture room;
– presentation, edited by a sub-group of students who attend the course, of in-depth
study of the legislation in force regarding the topics covered during the course;
– periods of meeting and talks by experts in both the field of legal training and the
psycho-social field;
– discussion of symbolic cases in the civil and penal areas.
The exam will consist of a written test followed by a discussion and a final oral.
Further information can be found on the lecturer's webpage at or on the Faculty notice