'False Memory Syndrome', Memory and the Law Group

On memories of abuse….

The BBC website, the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail are all reporting on the trial of an alleged sexual abuser, the widow of a former High Court judge. All quote the following statement by the prosecuting QC

“He tried to bury away the memories and not to think about them”.

As is her right, we have no doubt every effort will be put into her defence, perhaps even involving the British False Memory Society.

How will any witnesses for the prosecution or the barristers involved be able to rely on a balanced, empirically based set of guidelines to argue against any claims that the accuser’s memories may be ‘recovered or false’? The short answer is that they won’t because ‘The BPS’, in its wisdom, has given up on any pretence to take this matter with the seriousness that it deserves by abandoning the revision of its Memory and The Law guidelines (see here).

We can only hope that the court is able to hear from a balanced and fully informed range of expert witnesses. It is shameful than none of the psychologists who may be in that position will be able to call on the backing and support of their professional society.

The BPSWatch Editorial Collective

Governance, Memory and the Law Group

Memory and the Law – a dereliction of duty – Part 3

Peter Harvey writes….

In response to my last email to the BPS (see here), I received the following reply:

Dear Peter,

We worked closely with the Memory Based Evidence Task and Finish Group to resolve the challenges they faced. However the standards of evidence for the report and the need for a convergence of evidence from experimental work and clinical practice, as defined within the Terms of Reference for the group, could not be met. 

One of the areas where there was a lack of consensus was the nature of the output.  Their proposal to produce a series of briefings on the same topic from differing perspectives would not be an appropriate way of providing guidance for legal professions.  This approach lends itself to a series of papers in a special issue of a journal. This is the approach that has been agreed by members of the group as a way forward. As mentioned previously, this allows for a definitive review of the different aspects of evidence-based memory and allows space to outline where there are controversies as well as clear consensus.

The appointment of Professor Martin Conway as Chair of the 2008 Guidelines was in line with society policies at that time. Professor Conway was not a member of the Memory Based Evidence Task and Finish Group.

Any concerns relating to the integrity or ethical conduct of members needs to be specified with evidence so that they can be reviewed under the BPS Member Code of Conduct.

In terms of the lifespan of guidance documents, there is already a formal, structured and timed review process in place. All guidance is reviewed at two years and five years post-publication. To make the distinction clear to members and visitors to the website about what is current and what is historical guidance, we will consider adding an archiving section with a statement on legacy documents on the redeveloped website. This will help make clear that they do not reflect the BPS’s current position. The 2008 Memory and the Law publication is no longer available on the BPS website.

Your point about spending time and energy reinventing the wheel is well made. There is a 2019 research briefing on improving witness testimony produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. This document involved the College of Policing, the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice along with a host of other experts, including members of the Memory Based Evidence Task and Finish Group. Producing a very similar document would be a duplication of effort when a resource with significant input from psychologists is already available.

Debra Malpass, Director of Knowledge and Insight

I have written the following in reply:

Dear Dr Malpass,

Following on from your email of 26 February 2021, I have prepared a more detailed response as set out below.

1. We worked closely….

Who are ‘we’? This is important for two reasons. Firstly, in this specific instance the decision is a de facto change of BPS policy – from having a set of identified, validated and authoritative guidelines for both the profession and the wider public to having nothing. Surely this decision should have been made by the Trustees after consultation with the wider set of subsystems? You will recall that I raised the issue of who else was consulted in my previous correspondence – I have yet to have an answer. Secondly, a more general issue applies to a number of occasions when there have been statements published in The Psychologist in response to queries headed, for example,  ‘Society reply..…’ – an anonymous, unattributable statement that could have come from anyone, anywhere within the organisation. If we are to have an open, transparent system then there has to be accountability and responsibility or, at the very least, attribution.

2. …the Terms of Reference…could not be met…

What does ‘…consensus…’  mean? If you take it to mean total agreement on all major points then this is unlikely in a contested area. In much of psychology there will be differences of opinion and interpretation. Professional guidance should mean that such differences and controversies are set down fairly and openly.  Much of professional life is about managing conflict and difference and you are telling me, in all seriousness, that this group of highly competent people were not able to reach a position where differences and controversies could not be stated clearly. This really beggars belief. And did no-one suggest that it was possible that the constraints of the Terms of Reference (ToR) might be wrong in some way or other – too restrictive, too demanding of a ‘consensus’ for example? Why did this impasse not result in a constructive review and re-evaluation of the ToR and an engagement with the group as to a constructive way forward?

3.  …a series of papers…

You state

Their proposal to produce a series of briefings on the same topic from differing perspectives would not be an appropriate way of providing guidance for legal professions.

You then note that the agreed way forward was series of papers in a special issue of a journal (the shortcomings of which I have referred to previously). You then go on to say

..this allows for a definitive review of the different aspects of evidence-based memory and allows space to outline where there are controversies as well as clear consensus..

I may be missing something glaringly obvious here but what is actual difference between these two statements? As I noted previously, the status of an ad hoc collection papers in a learned journal has none of the authority of a proper set of guidelines from a professional body – especially if those guidelines are clear about where there is agreement and where there are disputes.

4. …concerns relating to the integrity or ethical conduct of members…

I do not see the relevance of this. I made it absolutely clear in my email that I was not impugning the integrity of Professor Conway  – a position I still hold to. My point, and I reiterate it, was to criticise the BPS for appointing, as Chair of the original group, an individual who was clearly aligned to a pressure group and who, as a consequence of that, could be accused of having a conflict of interest. The issue is the lack of insight and governance on the part of the BPS, not a comment on the ethics or behaviour of Professor Conway.

5. …the lifespan of guidance documents…

I do not have a problem with policy documents having a lifespan – my concern is that this information not easily available.  Do all BPS Documents have a clear statement as to when they will be reviewed? Do all BPS documents have clear statements that they have a limited shelf-life? Does the BPS inform the membership regularly when guidance has expired? At present you seem to expect that psychologists have the ability to remember the dates of issuance of a set of guidelines and five years later think “ Aha – these guidelines are now archived.”. Surely it is possible for the membership to be informed when guidance is no longer applicable – perhaps a brief paragraph in The Psychologist? This is not difficult and is arguably a duty of the BPS to ensure that its membership is keep fully up-to-date on key matters of policy.

6. …Memory and the Law publication is no longer available…

It’s all very well for the BPS to do this but, as I have stated before, this document is still available and is seen to be current. In addition to the examples I noted in previous correspondence you will see that it (and note that is the 2008 version, not the revised 2010 one) is listed by Professor Conway as a recent publication on the City University Centre for Law and Memory website – this suggests that he, too, may be unaware of the archiving policy. And, as you will see below, is still regard as suitable for referencing in the guidance that you recommend (see 7, below).

7. …POST briefing …improving witness testimony…

Are you now suggesting that this is a substitute for BPS guidelines? Is this now BPS Policy? This is a complex document, evidenced from a wide variety of sources both within psychology and the law and, as such, looks to be a useful summary (perhaps I should add that I would claim no specific expertise in this area and I will leave it to others to cast a more critical eye over it). But it raises many issues. Are you going to suggest to the BPS membership that this should be used by members in place of the now non-existent BPS Guidelines? If so, what due diligence has the BPS done on the document? You will note that amongst those interviewed was Professor Martin Conway – was he representing himself, the BPS or the British False Memory Society?  The same could be applied to any of those interviewed or involved in the review process. And, I note this with a certain irony, the 2008 BPS Guidelines are used in this document (Reference 11).

8. Concluding comments 

I would draw your attention to these recent letters to The Psychologist website – one from a member of the disbanded group (https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/comment/361#comment-361) and one from a practitioner (https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/comment/362#comment-362). The first undermines the narrative that all members of the group were happy with the decision to disband. We are being fed an ‘official’ version of events that is at variance with the experience of those who have been actively involved and committed. This is not good enough. The second emphasises the very real gap that now exists in the absence of proper guidelines and the risk to justice that this might entail. Again, this is not good enough.

I restate my position that the BPS is guilty of a shameful dereliction of its duty to its members and to the wider public. Implying that another organisation’s document would serve the same function as one under the Society’s banner smacks more of convenience and cowardice than a commitment to science and practice. The power and authority of guidelines comes from the fact that psychologists as a group have the most integrated, model-based, evidenced-based data on human memory of any. We have a duty and a responsibility to ensure that, whilst these data are incomplete, needing ongoing research and are open to debate (as with any controversial issue) they should be made available to benefit of all.  By not resolving this issue and shutting it down, the BPS is guilty of undermining any authority it may have had and of neglecting to face, with honesty and integrity, its duty to its members and the wider public.

Yours sincerely,
Peter Harvey (Member number 5187)

'False Memory Syndrome', Memory and the Law Group

The British False Memory Society – a personal story

A quarter of a century ago information about myself and my supposed false memory was given to the British False Memory Society (BFMS) without my consent. This information has been used to construct all sorts of theories about myself and my memory. It is very bizarre as it was all third-party information. There was nothing objectively true or false about it, no court cases, and no police involvement. It was simply disputed within family conversations. I do not understand how it is ethical for psychologists to affirm that my disputed memories are false without having further evidence.

This is the reality of the experience of someone whose life has been directly affected by the controversy surrounding the accuracy of memory – away from the laboratory, away from academic debate – this is what happens to real people in real life. The quote comes from a post sent to us following our coverage of the Memory and Law debacle. The full post is here and contains important and well-researched information about the British False Memory Society, members of its Scientific Advisory Board and the tactics used by the BFMS.

One of the areas that is of particular concern to us is the reference to the Centre for Memory and Law at City University. In the absence of formal, up-to-date, evidenced-based balanced guidance for practitioners and the courts, where will lawyers go? The Centre’s title says it all, and yet it is headed by someone whose links with the BFMS are well-known. Karl Sabbagh, who was convicted of grooming of a teenage girl in 2019, remained an adviser to the BFMS until 2021 who only acted when contacted by a journalist [see here] – how can we trust them?

We continue to urge the BPS to rescind their decision to abandon the work of the Law and Memory Group; to ensure that any future group is properly representative of all the views and controversies; and that any new group is set up to included the voices of those who have experienced the machinations of organisations such as the BFMS at first hand.

Posted by BPSWatch Admin

Important Addition information (16 April 2021)

In the original version of this post a reference was made to the BFMS Archive being held at City University. We have been informed by City University that it “.. does not hold personal data for which the British False Memory Society is a data controller.  Any enquiries about this should be directed to the BFMS. Any files for which BFMS is a data controller were securely transferred to the BFMS from City in December 2017.”.

"The Psychologist", Memory and the Law Group

The Psychologist – a cautionary tale

Peter Harvey writes….

Whilst we hope that this blog will get very wide coverage, we are realistic enough to know that it hasn’t (as yet, at least) the coverage of the BPS house publication (apparently it’s not a journal, it’s a magazine).  In order to alert the wider membership both to both the fact of the BPS’s decision not to rewrite and/or publish new Memory and Law guidelines and the process as to how this decision was made, I submitted my previous post as a letter to the editor of The Psychologist. He decided not to publish it on the following grounds

  1. It was too lengthy;
  2. I had already had a fairly full response to my queries;
  3. The members of the task force are happy with agreed way forward;
  4. The topic has been covered quite a lot over the years;
  5. When the planned journal coverage appears there might be another opportunity to cover this.

My response is below

Dear Jon,

Unsurprisingly, I am extremely disappointed by your decision not to publish my letter particularly on the grounds of length and the fact that I have already had a response.

Am I to understand that the only criticisms of the BPS that you will allow have to be squeezed into an arbitrary 600-word limit? Whilst the social-media savvy might think that you can have a reasoned and sensible debate with a packaged pullquote or 280 characters, I am of the generation that believes that serious issues demand proper space for debate. Such restrictions shut down argument, make point-scoring the aim rather than having to justify a position by evidence and reason.

The whole point of my letter was that the so-called ‘..fairly full response…” raised important issues of which neither I nor the membership were aware. My initial set of questions were simply that – to ascertain what the Society’s position on the matter is so that I was not reliant on hearsay and rumour. Once I had that information then I could comment sensibly and at proper length.

I find Debra’s statement regarding enquiries to the BPS astonishing – the point I make in the letter. It is outrageous that the Society is not being proactive here. These are guidelines that are in wide circulation still (the 2008 version is still the first hit on a Google search) and many professionals will regard them as current as there is nothing to say otherwise. Do you really expect that prior to using a set of BPS Guidelines everyone will phone the office to check on their currency?

You make the statement that you have covered the issue quite a lot over the years – of course you have and rightly, because it is a critically important issue and remains so. Are you seriously suggesting that in your editorial decision-making you are using the longevity of an issue or debate as a reason for not publishing? Does it not occur to you that one of the reasons that issues such as these command coverage on a regular basis is their importance? I find this an entirely uncompelling argument for refusing to publish.

Awaiting the decision on the proposed journal coverage simply adds further delay and uncertainty into the process. It parallels the BPS’s serious error of judgement in regards to the Keira Bell/Tavistock Judicial Review when the Society – rather than telling its members to obey the law as it now stands – has prevaricated on the basis that the decision is being appealed. Waiting on the unknown outcomes of the decisions of others is surely not a tenable position for a learned society.

The fact that this has appeared on the blog is not the issue – The Psychologist is the BPS house publication to which all members have access. The information contained in my letter has relevance to a significant proportion of that membership.  It gives them information they have a right to know and, in an open organisation, the opportunity to contest and debate.

I am unconvinced that The Psychologist actually functions, as you suggest, as the place to question the Society and its actions. One reason for starting the blog was that we have heard too many members’  experiences of the BPS and The Psychologist being unresponsive to their concerns and to healthy conflict and controversy.  And we will continue to act as forum for questioning the society until it is seen to be acting in the open and transparent manner that it claims to do.

I really don’t want to play the Aggrieved Author here but I find it dispiriting that the main forum for members to have an open debate – our house magazine/journal/publication – is so difficult to have access to. Article too long – really? Just over 2000 words in a 70 page publication. Too familiar – really?  Since when did the study of memory stop being of interest? When was it reported that the Guidelines were archived? What did a recent submission on issues around freedom of expression have to do to “make the cut” to appear? This is our publication for the membership – please give us a chance to use it fully.

Memory and the Law Group

Memory and the Law – a dereliction of duty – Part 2.

Peter Harvey posts…

After a nudge –  I had no acknowledgement of my email from any of the recipients – a response was received from the BPS Director of Knowledge and Insight [sic]. This confirmed the fact that the Group has been disbanded and that the reason for this was that “…the standards of evidence for the report and the need for consensus and a convergence of evidence from experimental work and clinical practice, as defined within the Terms of Reference for the group, could not be met.”.  In response to my query about informing the wider membership I was told “…To date, we have only received two enquires about this issue, including your enquiry, so we have not disseminated a wider statement to members.”. As to any future plans for providing advice to the many professionals (both within psychology and the law) who will need coherent and learned guidance from the one organisation that is in a position to provide it, they will have to access “… a special issue of a relevant journal…” because, rather than reconstitute the group (or even start over or work towards resolving the conflicts) group members are being asked to “…work on a series of articles about memory-based evidence for a special issue of a relevant journal. This would allow for a full and definitive review of the “state of the art” of different aspects of evidence-based memory and allow the space to outline where there were controversies as well as clear consensus.”.  This decision was reached after “… a  constructive and helpful meeting…in January 2021 although the decision to end the work of the group ‘… was made by the Research Board in October 2020.”.

I leave the reader to draw their own conclusions from this, but I for one, believe this to be an extremely serious error of judgement in the BPS’s part and shows an egregious lack of both moral and ethical responsibility.  What follows is my response, sent to the President, Chairs of both the Research and Practice Boards, and the Director of Knowledge and Insight.

Your response leaves me deeply unsatisfied and raises many questions. I preface these observations by emphasising that as a retired clinical health psychologist I have no current involvement in practice or in court work and I have no special interest or involvement in any pressure group. I am interested solely in the integrity and the reputation of the BPS.

  1. The BPS is in a unique position.

There is no other professional or academic organisation in the UK that is better placed to provide an informed evidence-based overview of research in human memory and how it relates to behaviour, both in a laboratory setting and in real-world contexts. No other academic or applied discipline has the historical and current underpinning of research nor does any other professional organisation have such ready access to the wide range of practitioners for whom an informed understanding of human memory is a core element of their practice. Most importantly, psychologists have developed over-arching and integrative models of memory and its various components that allow for the multiplicity of data to be placed within an explanatory framework. This is not to say that others have nothing to say and that their individual knowledge bases, perspectives and experiences are invalid or in way lesser. But psychologists are in the unique position of being able to integrate and synthesise this vast and disparate scholarship and expertise. That is both our gift and our responsibility.

2.  The BPS has a public responsibility.

Under our Charter and Statues we have a set of public responsibilities 

“…to promote the advancement and diffusion of a knowledge of psychology pure and applied…” (Royal Charter, extract from para 3).

It could be argued that the interface between the law and the discipline and profession of psychology is amongst the most important. In the arena of the courtroom, life-and-death decisions are made on the basis of attempts to understand the complexities of human behaviour.  We have a responsibility (statutory, moral and ethical)  to ensure that all those involved in the real-life process of making informed decisions have access to the best possible evidence and data – however incomplete that may be. We cannot renege on that responsibility nor should we.  By refusing to update our guidelines we are abrogating our critical role in providing support and guidance to those who both need it and to which they are entitled.

3.  “Let them read the Journal.”

It is, frankly, astonishing that the fallback position is that the group will “…work on a series of articles about memory-based evidence for a special issue of a relevant journal. This would allow for a full and definitive review of the “state of the art” of different aspects of evidence-based memory and allow the space to outline where there were controversies as well as clear consensus.”. Apart from the inevitable delay that this process will involve it is simply the wrong decision. These data are, one assumes, already out there in the various academic journals – the “new” papers will be summaries of the existing literature brought together under one roof, as it were. Why spent time and energy on re-inventing the wheel? If this were to seen as an acceptable strategy, then why not simply ask the group for an up-to-date list of papers with references and send this out to interested parties?  And what is missing from this piecemeal approach is the integration of these data into explanatory models. The aims and purposes (amongst others) of a document including the word ‘Guidelines’  under the imprimatur of an organisation are to provide (i)a set of standards for currently acceptable practice; (ii) a summary of current knowledge in the field, identifying what is known, what is uncertain (and possibly, what is wrong) together with informed guidance as to the reliability and limitations of these data. It is this latter function that may be of more importance in this case. In the highly contentious area that involves memories of childhood trauma, courts need the best possible information in order to ensure justice is done fairly and equitably for all those involved. By making access to such information significantly more difficult and without the benefit an expert, informed overview, the BPS is actively depriving people of justice. The other, highly significant problem with the BPS’s so-called solution, is that it removes the authority that the organisation gives to a document. If we take your ‘solution’ then what is there to stop stop a variety of ‘expert’ witnesses quoting from a whole range of journals – the status of which is likely to be opaque to the courts (does publication in the BJP trump the JEP?), leaving laypersons in the unenviable position of having to rate the merits of different scientific papers. What seems to have eluded those who made this decisions is that this is not some cosy academic debate in the conference hall – it impacts on people’s lives in a highly significant way.

4.  On the lack of consensus.

Why is consensus critical? I am not sure that any area of science in general and psychology in particular is reducible to a simplistic, definitive, absolutist position that would claim to have everyone’s agreement. No scientific debate is ever closed.  No reputable scientist would say that a debate is shut, that there is no debate to be had anymore. There will always room for doubt and all our knowledge is only ever provisional, awaiting the next new piece of data or new theoretical insight. Elaborating doubt and controversy is surely a sine qua non of a truly scientific approach to knowledge. In the specific setting of memory and the law I would argue that it is absolutely essential that doubts and controversies are given due prominence so that partial and partisan positions can be exposed for what they are. Giving the courts access to the doubts and uncertainties is surely helpful so that each individual case may be judged on their merits. To quote from the 2008 Guidelines

The guidelines and key points should then be taken as they are intended – as guidelines and not absolute statements. Because they are based on widely agreed and acknowledged scientific findings they provide a far more rigorously informed understanding of human memory than that available from commonly held beliefs. In this respect they give courts a much firmer basis for accurate decision-making.

Citing lack of consensus as reason for winding up a group is cowardly and deceitful and does the BPS irreparable harm. It is shameful.

5.  Conflicts of interest?

I note that the Chair of the 2008 Guidelines was Professor Martin Conway. I also note that he is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the British False Memory Society (BFMS) and I understand that he is regularly called as an Expert Witness. Without in any way impugning Professor Conway’s personal or professional integrity, why did the BPS appoint as Chair, someone who could be put in a position where there might be seen to be a conflict of interest? The BFMS is clearly a pressure group espousing a particular view of how memory works – it cannot be said to neutral. Neither is it a professional body in the sense that the BPS is. Whilst including the views of groups like the BFMS in the Group’s deliberations is appropriate (indeed, excluding such views would also be a serious misjudgement), having someone so closely linked to a particular pressure group as the Chair surely opens the BPS to serious criticism.

6.  The lifespan of guidelines.

I was surprised to find out – despite a long and involved association with the BPS – that there is a policy of archiving guidelines and other documents after a set period of time. Whilst this is clearly a sensible policy for guidance which needs to be updated regularly to reflect changes in knowledge and/or practice, there is an associated responsibility to ensure that all users of such guidance are aware of such a limitation. Nowhere on the original document is there a statement identifying the period for which the guidelines are valid, the process by which they will be reviewed and the implications of using them after their ‘use-by’ date. I would guess that most people will still be regarding these documents as current policy. When I was working I had some considerable experience of NHS guideline development both at a national and local level and it was always made clear that there was a formal, structured and timed review process together with an identified person/post-holder being responsible for that process. Relying on a redeveloped website does not solve this problem. This is passive response which puts the responsibility back onto the user. And it is likely to exclude non-members simply because I would not expect every lawyer to regularly checking up on what is current and what is not. 

7.   Communication with the membership and others.

I find worrying at best and disingenuous at worst to think that the BPS is relying on queries to the office as a means of communicating key policy issues. I have already suggested that most members and users are unaware of the archiving policy in general and the non-applicability of these guidelines in particular. Why would they contact you? This is abrogating a key responsibility of the BPS to keep its members up-to-date and to ensure that those interfaces with the public that rely on our advice are updated as and when necessary. It  is the BPS’s responsibility to be proactive here, both in this case and in general. I am, frankly, astonished by the lack of effort that the BPS has put into keeping the membership up to speed on this matter. Did you inform the membership that the guidelines – containing advice that many practitioners will have need of – were archived and no longer current? If you have, well and good; if not then the BPS has failed in its duty to its members.

8.  Consulting about the decision.

You note that the Research Board decided to disband the Task and Finish Group in October 2020. Clearly, it is within the remit of the Board to make decisions about its own groups. However, the impact of this decision spreads far and wide throughout the Society. Off the top of my head, the Divisions of Clinical, Counselling, Forensic and Neuropsychology have an obvious and immediate interest; I would guess that the Cognitive, Crisis Disaster and Trauma, Developmental, Male, Sexualities, Women and Equalities and Psychotherapy Sections would have more than a passing interest; the Expert Witness Group most certainly would have an opinion. Were they consulted, informed, included at any stage in a decision which has importance for practice? Were the sections that would be able to inform the debate asked for a view? It looks as if the Research Board paid no attention at all to the wider consequences of their decision which has been compounded by the Society’s complete lack of transparency and action in informing the wider membership.

I look forward to hearing what steps the Board of Trustees and the SMG will take to address these issues.

Memory and the Law Group

Memory and the Law – a dereliction of duty – Part 1.

Posted by Peter Harvey

We are going to run a short series of posts concerning the BPS’s recent decision to dissolve the Memory and Law Task and Finish Group. There is a long, complex and controversial history to both the group and issue some of which we will highlight in future posts. The brief background relates to the BPS Memory and the Law reports (2008 and 2010). These are now archived as, according to the BPS “…they are no longer regarded as reflecting the Society’s current position…”. The group set up to review and revise them (presumably in the light of more recent evidence) has now been disbanded because “…it had not delivered the required output within the required timescale and failed to reach a consensus on key proposed elements of the document…”. On hearing the news that the group has now been permanently disbanded, I sent the following email (17 January 2021) to the President, and the Chairs of the Research and Practice Boards:

Dear President,

I understand that that, after its recent suspension, the Memory and the Law Task and Finish Group is to be permanently and formally disbanded. Before I take this matter further I would be grateful for clarification.

1. On whose authority was this decision made? 

2. When will the membership be informed of this decision?

3. What will the membership be told about the reasons for this decision?

4. What does the BPS intend to do about rescinding its previous documents (still in circulation) and advising both practitioners and the wider legal system that the BPS no longer feels able to offer evidence-based guidance on the controversies concerning how scientific research on memory should and should not be used in court?

As you will see I have copied this email to those within the BPS who I believe have an interest in this matter.

I should add that I do not wish you to treat this as a complaint to be channelled though the complaints process. This is matter of policy. I am requesting that you and your senior professional office-holders address this as a matter of urgency.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Harvey AFBsS; member number 5187; former Chair Division of Clinical Psychology; former Chief Examiner and Chair of Board of Examiners BPS Qualification in Clinical Psychology).