Three-minute thesis: Prosecuting psychological harms


Paul McGorrery, Deakin University

PhD title

Criminalising psychological harms


“Although courts in Australia have increasingly recognised psychological harm as a compensable type of harm, no one in Australia has ever been prosecuted in criminal law for causing psychological harm to another person. This research aims to understand whether, and to what extent, the criminal law does and should criminalise the infliction of psychological harm by one individual to another. In order to answer that question, this research reviews criminal laws around Australia, the role and purposes of the criminal law in society, and definitions of psychological harm. Suggestions will then be made about the proper boundaries that might be placed around such an offence.”

The finals of the 2017 Asia-Pacific Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, which challenges PhD students to communicate their research in a snappy three-minute presentation, were held on the 29 September at the University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus. Competitors came from 55 Universities from across Australia, New Zealand and North and South-East Asia. 

The presentations were judged by distinguished figures in Australian science including Cosmos editor-in-chief Elizabeth Finkel.

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