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About us Faculty of Law Research Centres of Expertise Groningen Centre for Empirical Legal Research

Michiel van der Wolf

Michiel van der Wolf is associate professor of Criminal Law at the department of Criminal law and criminology at the University of Groningen and extraordinary professor of Forensic Psychiatry at the Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology at Leiden University. He studied both law (criminal law and criminology) and psychology (forensic clinical psychology) and started his career as a clinical psychology trainee at a high security forensic mental (TBS) hospital.

His research is on issues on the interface between law and psychiatry/clinical psychology and the methods he uses are interdisciplinary as well. He is specialized in research projects, which combine legal and empirical methods. For such a project on the quality of impositions of the TBS-order - including empirical vignette studies into the level of agreement amongst behavioural scientific experts - he received an NWO-Veni grant in 2012. As a part of this project he was a visiting fellow at Clare Hall College, University of Cambridge. His legal research includes legal history and comparative methods and has targeted legal insanity, sentencing dangerous offenders and forensic assessment.

He was part of two research teams evaluating the regulations on the legal position of mentally disordered (offenders) which included quantitative and qualitative empirical research. And he is now involved in studying the (therapeutic) effects of contact between victims and mentally disordered offenders and a victim awareness course within forensic mental health. Another project aims at the effects of a pilot project introducing a new and shorter format for forensic assessment of offenders.

He is an invited member of the Mental Health, Law, and Policy, Institute and peer reviewer for the Psychology and Law Evidence Database based at Simon Fraser University. He is a deputee judge at the Criminal Court in Amsterdam and Court of Appeal in Leeuwarden. He is president of the North-Netherlands Psychiatric Legal Society.

Last modified:14 May 2020 4.13 p.m.