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Welcome to the first CSEL newsletter of 2014! Here's a short update on our busy start to the year...

Research news


ESRC application
CSEL Trustee Amina Memon has submitted an application to the ESRC, along with fellow Trustee Chris Brewin and CSEL Director Jane Herlihy, for funding towards a study of memory for repeated events. This is a topic that has received much attention in relation to children reporting abuse, but not in adults, and may prove particularly relevant to trafficking survivors.   

Whatever the result of this particular application, the great news is that CSEL is now an accredited organisation on the ESRC grant application system, which means that we will be eligible to apply to them for any future projects.

Child psychology
Zoe is settling in well as our resident Child Psychology Post-doctoral Researcher. As part of CSEL’s work in partnership with UNHCR for the Credo II project, which is focused on credibility in children’s asylum cases in the EU, Zoe and Jane attended a research planning meeting in Budapest in September. Zoe is now working on research to inform chapters for the forthcoming CREDO II report and training manual, supervised by Dr Matthew Hodes, who lectures at the Imperial College London Department of Medicine and has an abundance of expertise in child and adolescent psychiatry.

Zoe is also part of the advisory group for the two-year ‘Principles into Practice’ project run by the Law Centres Network, which aims to better understand the relationship between guiding principles in human rights and mental health law, and minors’ asylum cases in the UK, as well as raising awareness of best-practice and legal frameworks.

CSEL research digest

We are currently developing a new research hub and digest, which will keep you up-to-date with new high quality publications and the latest developments in the overlapping worlds of psychology, law and emotion. We look forward to publishing our first research digest in May, so be prepared for the face of our quarterly newsletter to change!

In the meantime, we are running a short survey collecting legal and voluntary sector professionals’ views on using research resources in casework with women, children and migrants, which you can find here. Your input into this exciting new phase of our work is much appreciated; please share the survey with any others who might be interested.



We are sad to have waved goodbye to our volunteer Research Assistant Lily in December. We wish her all the best in her new role with the British Red Cross international family tracing service.

We are still in the process of recruiting a new Chair of Trustees. Please get in touch with Jane if you are interested in joining the Board!




In October Jane joined Fadela Novak (UNHCR Brussels Bureau) and Gábor Gyulai (Hungarian Helsinki Committee) at the Palais des Nations in Geneva as part of a side panel to launch the CREDO report, alongside the UNHCR annual Executive Committee meeting. The panel presented an exciting opportunity to take the Europe-wide work of CREDO to a global audience, comprising diplomats, NGO’s, UN sister agencies and academics, among others.

A month later, Jane spent a day at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine (Queen Mary College, University of London) as part of the launch of their new MSc in Mental Health and Law. She gave a talk on bringing psychological evidence into refugee law, as part of wide-ranging contributions from Prof. Françoise Hampson, Prof. Kam Bhui, Prof. George Szmukler and Sanchita Hosali, exploring the intersection of mental health and law, from the protection of medical facilities in armed conflict, to developing a public health approach to terrorism.

Last, Jane visited UNHCR Ireland in December for the national launch of the CREDO project in Dublin. Jane spoke as part of a series of interesting panels on enhancing the quality of decision making, preparing for new procedures in Ireland, and jurisprudence on credibility assessment.

'Beyond Proof - Credibility Assessment in EU Asylum Systems', UNHCR

Training update

Clare has been busy running training across the UK as part of the Evidence into Practice project. In addition to delivering a very well-received workshop at the Law Centres Network annual conference in November, she also trained lawyers and voluntary sector workers in Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield in December and January. Participants continue to appreciate the interdisciplinary aspect of our approach, with one person reflecting “as a writer of ML [medico-legal] reports I found looking at the topic from the legal point of view gave greater depth to the work I do.”

Clare will be delivering training in Bristol in March, and in London later this spring. Please email her at to find out more, or to host or get involved in future training.
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