The impact of good police interviewing practice on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion: enhancing the prospects of conviction

Closing Date

30th March 2020*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier

The Research Project

Reliance on technological advances such as fingerprints or DNA evidence has tended to overshadow the central importance of effective interviewing skills in solving crime (Moston, 2009).  In recent years, however, there have been signs of attitudinal change and some Australian police jurisdictions have adopted evidence-based and designed-for-purpose investigative interviewing training for police officers. Investigative interviews form the basis of witness and suspect statements which are part of the brief of evidence handed to prosecutors. The decision to prosecute is based on this file and an assessment of whether there are reasonable prospects of conviction. Richly-detailed statements which are likely to withstand evidential challenges at trial will increase the prospects of conviction. There is therefore a nexus between the skill of the police interviewer and the ultimate decision to prosecute an individual. The existence of that nexus and the features of the interviewing process which are likely to strengthen it will be explored in this research.

A candidate undertaking a PhD in this area will be conducting research that will yield significant practical benefits for policing organisations, prosecution teams and the court and justice system in Australia.

  • Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply
  • Knowledge and skill in qualitative research methods will be ranked highly

See the following web page for entry requirements:

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact, Helen Cockburn for further information.