Professor Bebhinn Donnelly-Lazarov
Bebhinn is a professor in the College of Law. She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, The Inns of Court School of Law, and Birmingham University. Her research has straddled a number of fields including criminal law, international law, and environmental law but the focus is always a philosophical one, where the aim is to elucidate law’s underlying concepts and normative rationales. She has developed a keen interest in the rapidly emerging field of ‘Neurolaw.’
Developments in neuroscience, and in particular the ability of neuroscientific technologies to probe the depths of mind and brain, have great potential significance for the practice of law. To what degree, for example, should neuroscientific evidence be admissible in courts and what kind of evidence is it; physical or testimonial? For what purposes should this evidence be admitted and how do juries make sense of it? If our actions are the result not of conscious choice but rather the work of synapses and neuronal events, can we really say that anyone is responsible or culpable for their actions? Alongside Dennis Patterson and Peter Raynor, Bebhinn is editing a Cambridge University Press collection that will explore these and other questions, forthcoming in 2017.