Previous iIIRG Award Winners

2018 (Porto, Portugal)

iIIRG Tom Williamson Award

The iIIRG Tom Williamson Award was presented to Dr Philip Esplin who has conducted numerous National and International training seminars worldwide on proper interview/investigative techniques in child molestation cases. He has testified in over 500 court matters involving children and adolescents and has consulted and/or testified in a number of major sex abuse cases including: (i) State of Florida v. Bobby Finji ; (ii) The “Little Rascals” daycare case in North Carolina; (iii) The Dale Akkiki case in San Diego; (iv) The Wenatchee case in Wenatchee, Washington, and; (v) The Michael Jackson case in California. In short, Dr Esplin has been an extensive carer dedicated to the research and practice of child interviewing and Forensic Psychology.

Academic and Practitioner Excellence Awards

The Academic Excellence Award was presented to Dr Sonja Brubacher for her work on conducting experimental research on topics relevant to the forensic interviewing of children. She has extensively examined issues around the use of practice interviews, retrieval of information for repeated events, and how children can better remember specific experiences. Her experimental research continues to this day and informs many aspects of the practice of forensic interviewing. Sonja and also demonstrated excellence in the breadth of research that she has undertaken during her career thus far. Her work on interviewing practices, analysis of forensic interviews, questioning styles, and publication of case studies continues to significantly inform our field.

The Practitioner Excellence Award was presented to Staff Sergeant Greg Yanicki who has been central to the development and implementation of the Phased Interview Model (PIM). As a long-term member of the iIIRG, Greg understands the value of rapport-based approaches to interviewing and expertly implements them in his own suspect and witness interviews, thus leading his team by example in the process. As evidence-based approaches to interviewing that recognize the centrality of rapport and the goal of information-gathering take hold across the globe, these models must adapt to the cultural and legal traditions where they are implemented.

2017 (California, USA)

iIIRG Tom Williamson Award

The iIIRG Tom Williamson Award was presented to Professor Gisli Gudjonsson, Kings College London. He is viewed as having developed forensic psychology as a scientific discipline and his work, including his testimony in landmark cases in Britain and abroad, has significantly enhanced legal practice regarding human rights of the accused, police training and confession evidence. He is internationally recognised for his pioneering research into the measurement and application of interrogative suggestibility, psychological vulnerabilities and false confessions, which has stimulated extensive research and been applied to forensic and legal practice worldwide.

Academic and Practitioner Excellence Awards

The Academic Excellence Award was presented to Professor Richard Leo who is renowned in multiple academic disciplines for his pathbreaking conceptual and empirical research on the social psychology of police interrogation, the phenomena of false confessions, and the causes and consequences of the wrongful conviction of the innocent in the American criminal justice system. Professor Leo has received numerous career/lifetime achievement awards and his work has been cited hundreds of times in print and electronic media – as one measure of impact, his articles have been downloaded more than 36,000 times on the Social Science Research Network.

The Practitioner Excellence Award was presented to Mr Mark Fallon who is a tenacious advocate for lawful, effective and humane interrogation techniques. He has made numerous representations to representatives of the US Government and presented on Capitol Hill opposing torture. Mark is an enthusiastic supporter of researchers in the field of investigative interviewing and consistently argues for the use of evidence-based research to inform and improve the practice of interrogation to better protect national security and public safety.

2016 (London, UK)

iIIRG Tom Williamson Award

Aldert Vrij

Photo: University of Portsmouth


Professor Aldert Vrij, UK





Academic and Practitioner Excellence Awards

Chris Kelly

Photo: Saint Joseph’s University


Dr Chris E. Kelly, USA (Academic)



Alistair Graham, International Criminal Court (Practitioner)

2015 (Deakin, Australia)

iIIRG Tom Williamson Award



Professor Martine Powell, Australia



Academic and Practitioner Excellence Awards

emily henderson


Dr Emily Henderson, New Zealand (Academic)


Cameron Gardner (Practitioner)

2014 (Lausanne, Switzerland)

iIIRG Tom Williamson Award



Professor Peter van Koppen, The Netherlands



Academic and Practitioner Excellence Awards

David La Rooy


Dr David La Rooy, Scotland, UK (Academic)



Dr Nina Westera, Australia (Practitioner)

2013 (Maastricht, The Netherlands)

Inaugural ‘iIIRG Tom Williamson Award’ (previously ‘Senior Academic Award’)



Professor Michael Lamb, UK


Academic and Practitioner Excellence Awards



Professor Chris Meissner, USA (Academic)



Colonel Steve Kleinman, USA (Practitioner)

2012 (Canada)

Academic and Practitioner Excellence Awards

Julia Korkman


Dr. Julia Korkman, Finland (Academic)


GMP Group


(from left to right): Mr. Steve Retford, Detective Sergeant Mick Confrey, Mr. Ian Hynes, Greater Manchester Police, UK (Practitioner)

2011 (Dundee, Scotland)

Senior Academic Awards (now ‘The iIIRG Tom Williamson Award’) 

Saul Kassin


Distinguished Professor Saul Kassin, USA.


Ron Fisher


Professor Ron Fisher, USA.



Academic and Practitioner Excellence Awards

Fiona Gabbert


Dr. Fiona Gabbert, UK (Academic)


Ole Thomas Bjerknes


Ole Thomas Bjerknes, Norwegian Police (Practitioner)


2010 (Stavern, Norway)

Senior Academic and Practitioner Awards



Professor Günter Köhnken, Germany (Academic)



Detective Superintendent Andy Griffiths PhD, UK (Practitioner)

2009 (Middlesbrough, UK)

Senior Academic and Practitioner Awards  (now ‘The iIIRG Tom Williamson Award’) 


Professor Ray Bull, UK (Academic)

Mr. Gary Shaw MBE, UK (Practitioner)

Junior Academic and Practitioner Awards 



Dr. Coral Dando, UK (Academic)

Inspector Marlene Prenzler, Australia (Practitioner)