Conference Keynotes 2020

Confirmed Keynotes

This year will involve three keynotes from international experts.

Professor Saul Kassin, Department of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, USA.

Saul Kassin is a Distinguished Professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Starting in the 1980s, he pioneered the scientific study of police interrogations and the causes, consequences, and remedies of false confessions. Kassin is former president of APA’s Psychology-and-Law Division, the lead author on its Official White Paper on false confessions, and recipient of numerous awards, including the APA Award for Distinguished Contribution to Research on Public Policy. He has appeared as an analyst on all major news networks and in several documentaries, including Ken Burns’ The Central Park Five. He was recently featured in SCIENCE Magazine, and has consulted in a number of high-profile cases.


Professor Makiko Naka, Department of Comprehensive Psychology, Ritsumeikan University, Japan.

Professor Naka’s research interests are in human cognition in natural and legal contexts, including children’s vocabulary to describe events, eyewitness memory, and investigative interviewing techniques with children. She has carried out research in laboratory and in legal settings, authored/edited ten books and authored/co-authored 200 journal articles and book chapters. She is the president of the Japanese Society for Law and Psychology, served as a chair/member of the committee on investigative interviews with child victims at the National Police Agency and psychology and law committee at the Science Council of Japan, and contributed to the development of guideline on investigative interviews and child interviews at the National Police Agency. She served as an expert witness on child testimony for more than 20 years, and has trained approximately 9,400 professionals such as police officers, prosecutors, and social workers. 


Dr Kevin Smith, National Vulnerable Witness Advisor, National Crime Agency, UK.

Kevin retired from the Metropolitan Police Service in London after 30 years’ service in June 2008. He currently works in Major Crime Investigative Support at the National Crime Agency as the National Vulnerable Witness Adviser and is regularly deployed operationally throughout the UK to develop victim and witness interview strategies and plans for complex investigations.

He is one of the authors of the revised edition of the national interview guidance for England and Wales that is set out in “Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings: Guidance on Interviewing Victims and Witnesses, and Guidance on Using Special Measures” (Ministry of Justice 2011) and of the earlier 2007 revised guidance on which it is based. He has revised a further edition of Achieving Best Evidence which is likely to be published at some point in 2020. He is also one of the authors of Advice on the Structure of Visually Recorded Interviews with Witnesses (2010, 2013 and 2015). He has published three books, several chapters in books and a number of papers on vulnerable victims and witnesses. He is currently writing a book on the management of trauma in criminal investigations.

He sits on the National Strategic Steering Group for Investigative Interviewing. He is also one of the two academic advisers to the Ministry of Justice Victims’ Panel.

He holds a first class honours degree in psychology, a master’s degree in education (language and child development) and a Ph.D. in psychology. Kevin is a chartered psychologist (CPsychol).