Forensic Psychologist's Legal Responsibilities and Rights Research Paper

Pages: 9 (3466 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 9  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business - Law

Legal Rights and Responsibilities in Forensic Psychology

The forensic field has expanded and broadened during the last fifty years or so. Since forensic psychology differs from conventional psychology, special attention has been given in developing ethical and legal rights and responsibilities. This paper summarizes the legal rights and responsibilities of a forensic psychologist in light of the guidelines developed and published by American Psychological Association.

Discussion of rights and responsibilities of forensic psychologists

Duties of a forensic psychologist


The forensic professionals should practice truthfulness and honesty in their fieldwork of forensic psychology and shouldn't misrepresent information regardless.

Being impartial and fair

While offering professional advice and opinion, the forensic scientists should be impartial, fair and unbiased. Due to the gravity of the situation, they should remain impartial and assess all options before issuing statement.

While providing proof and reports, evidence shouldn't be distorted or withheld from the jury in a court of law. The forensic scientists should be able to nullify all the theories pertaining to a case and validate the correct with proper documentation. The forensic scientists should remain impartial. The forensic scientists should display their findings in an accurate and impartial manner.

Preventing different perceptions

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The forensic scientists should vacate their position, when their position from a legal, financial, professional basis is at risk and can cloud their judgment for that matter.

The forensic professionals should acknowledge conflicts of interests and disagreements developing to retain the public vote of confidence. In case of the conflict of interest, they should be highlighted and well documented.


Extent of competence

TOPIC: Research Paper on Forensic Psychologist's Legal Responsibilities and Rights Assignment

While determining which case to work on, the forensic professional should take heed to multiple factors first which include their training, work experience, complexity of the case, experience and nature of the job, the amount of preparation to do and study that entails. The forensic professional should take professional help from their fellow professional colleagues.

The level of competency can be acquired via different forms of training, experience, education, study, professional experience and consultation. The novice forensic professionals should take necessary training first before jumping on the bandwagon which includes techniques, areas, population and technologies. The forensic professionals should be more and more competent with the passage of time. They should have know-how of the law and legal proceedings entailing.


Providing services

The forensic professionals should have clear contracts, which should dictate the price for their services and agree on a timeframe till their services are required. The forensic professional can end the agreement, in case the client violates the agreement or acts in an unethical manner.

The forensic professionals should work ethically and responsibly in providing the agreed upon services. The forensic professionals can dictate their terms of service depending upon their professional experience and expertise in field work.


The forensic professionals need to manage their work schedule according to accommodate all of their clients. The services should be provided diligently and competitively. The forensic professional is liable to provide services within the contract. The client should respect the contract and remain within its confines.


The forensic professionals should keep their clients updated on the status of their job and remain compliant with the client's demands and be open on the limitations that follow in their contract. Certain services are not obligatory for the forensics professional, thus they can voice it to their clients. it's their duty to keep the clients involved and updated on recent events.

Ending the contract

The forensic professional is supposed to carry out all the obligations in the contract as long as the contract remains valid. In case, the contract is terminated, the forensic professional is no longer liable to provide services. The forensic professional's involvement could be temporary and his contract may end when a case is solved.


The nature of the forensic professional and client depends on many factors. It depends on the information shared between them. The responsibilities and duties differ according to every case.

The responsibilities commence once the client has ordered the services of a forensic professional and a contract has been signed and agreed upon. The matters of privacy, privilege and confidentiality has been addressed too. The forensic professional should dictate the nature of the services and relationship.

The forensic professional can have multiple relationships. For instance, the forensic professional could be working with one client, but secretly having deals and monetary talks with another client. In another case, the forensic professional could be working with a different client entirely.

Thus, the forensic professionals shouldn't involve with multiple parties simultaneously. Working with one party at a time is advised. It can tarnish their reputation.

While working with multiple clients, strengths and weaknesses become clear. Thus, it is necessary to maintain a level of secrecy from the clients of opposite parties. The forensic professional should request to hire another forensic specialist. This will keep biasness out of the scenario entirely. Negative effects must be avoided at all costs in a case.


While pondering fees, the forensic professional should take in heed the complexity of the case, their relevant field experience in forensics, time and labor needed, the toughness of the situation and fee taken from forensic record keeping. It depends on the client's willingness too.

The forensic scientists should notify the clients about the necessary costs, while working on their case and additional costs which may arise during a case.

The forensic scientists should avoid additional payments, which could alter their opinion and judgments. The forensic scientists are aware that not all clients can afford to pay for their valuable services and thus allot some time working free of cost.

Consent, warning and assent

The forensic scientists should explain the complexities of the legal issues arising with forensic taking helm in a case. Mostly, the participants are unaware of the intricacies involved. The parameters and nature change with forensic professionals entering a case.

The forensic professionals should explain the nature of forensic work and unveil the intricacies entailing.

The forensic scientists should take in consideration the person's background, psychological experience, mentality and corroborate it with the legal matters involved. If complications arise, consult a counselor to seek expert advice.

Interaction with the client

The forensic professionals should divulge information that can alter a decision of working with a forensic professional in a case. This information shouldn't affect the bond / contract between the forensic professional and the client. It could lead to a conflict of interest.

Interaction with participants

The forensic professionals should inform the participants about the nature and aim of the assessment. This information entails utilization of assessment, access of information, privacy concerns and authority to make the information public.

If the participant is unwilling to take part in examination, the forensic professional can delay the experiment. The forensic professional will need to take an approval, if court bars a participant from taking part in an experiment.

If court orders a participant to continue, then forensic professional can work without participant's approval. Otherwise the forensic professional should inform concerned parties of participant's unwillingness. The forensic professionals need to take consent before releasing scholarly works and products from the concerned party. The interests of the client must be respected.

Disagreements while practicing

During the course of forensic practice, conflicts with demands often occur, which should be made known to the concerned party. Then, they should act on the advice of the concerned parties and relevant agencies for that matter.

Disagreement with legal institution

The forensic practitioners should make their move in accordance with the EPPCC and resolve a conflict if any arises. When EPPCC can't solve an issue, then forensic professionals should seek legal advice from legal bodies. They should maintain compliance with the court of law and maintain ethical means of practice.

Conflict at workplace

The forensic professionals should clarify their position in case of a conflict with the organization they are linked with. They should solve the conflict in an amicable manner.

Solving ethical issues professionally

In case of an ethical violation, the forensic professionals should take quick action and take in consideration many factors and oversee the potential harm, privacy, privilege and confidentiality factors.

Thus, consultation of the colleagues must be taken. Then, clients must be entwined in the loop. If another forensic professional commits an ethical violation, then it should be brought to others attention.

In case of a plausible solution, they should seek outside help from a counsel. Usually, the client's help is taken.

Carefulness, discretion and privilege

The forensic professionals are aware of their duty to protect private information pertaining to a client and concerned parties. Disclosure is only allowed by consent from required individuals.

Releasing information

The forensic professionals should oblige to subpoena and court orders for releasing information and legal consent from said parties. Otherwise in case of an objection, they should give a concrete reason. When complications arise, they should seek legal advice and take client's consent too in consideration.

Access of information

When requested, the forensic professionals should be able to give… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Forensic Psychologist's Legal Responsibilities and Rights.  (2014, March 31).  Retrieved September 21, 2021, from

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