Forensic Epidemiology

Forensic Pathology

Forensic pathology is a super-specialization within pathology. Contrary to the clinical pathology, which is mainly concerned with the examination of tissues of living persons, forensic pathology focuses completely on post mortem examination in cases of unexplained or suspicious death. The basic examination of course is the autopsy, however ancillary techniques, e.g. microscopic, toxicological and radiologic examination, play an important role as well. Last but not least the pathologist must, besides stating the cause of death, reconstruct the biological mechanism that has led to it and report all of this in plain language to the courts. The pathologist’s conclusions should be evidence based, where possible, and should preferably also inform the courts about the probabilities of scenario’s and differential diagnoses. Therefore not only specialized medical knowledge but epidemiology, statistics and communication play an important part in this profession, its development and, by that, in the research as well.

Prof. Kubat 
Website: Pathologie Prof. Bella Kubat 

Forensic Psychology

Forensic psychology is the application of psychological science to questions and issues relating to the law and the legal system. This may concern criminal and civil law, the actors in the legal system (professionals, jurors, suspects, victims), or the system at large (e.g., police, child protection,  women’s shelters).

Dr. Corine de Ruiter is Professor of Forensic Psychology at Maastricht University. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist in The Netherlands.

Her research interests include the relationship between mental disorders and violence, the development and prevention of antisocial behavior in youth, and the assessment of risk for future violence, including domestic violence, sexual violence and child abuse. Dr. de Ruiter had her research published in over 200n national and international peer reviewed journals. From 2009-2014, she served as Associate Editor of the International Journal of Forensic Mental Health. She was President of the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services ( from 2011-2013. She is currently Associate Editor of Journal of Personality Assessment and Chief Editor of Frontiers in Forensic and Legal Psychology.

The scientist-practitioner model is central to her career: her key objective is to improve mental health services for those in contact with the law, through the use of evidence based assessment and treatment methods. Dr. de Ruiter has conducted numerous workshops in The Netherlands and abroad on forensic (risk) assessment and screening for domestic violence. She often serves as an expert witness in criminal court cases on issues such as the relationship between mental disorder and offending behavior, criminal responsibility, false confession, risk of future violence, and required level of supervision and treatment. She also regularly consults with police services on issues such as interrogation strategy, vulnerability of suspects/witnesses and offender profiling.

Prof. de Ruiter

Forensic Radiology

Forensic radiology is a subdiscipline of radiology and comprises of image acquisition, interpretation and documentation, in order to answer questions in civil and criminal law procedures and law enforcement. All medical imaging techniques can be applied but computed tomography, conventional X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging are used most. These techniques are used to establish injuries, injury patterns and other abnormalities, assist in identification and age estimation. Forensic radiology is widely used to establish the cause and manner of death both in cases of violent death and in natural cause of death. The reinterpretation of clinical imaging studies with a forensic question is also a part of forensic radiology.

Prof. dr. P.A.M. Hofman
Dr. Nicky Peters
Dr. L. Jacobi
Prof. dr. W. van Zwam
Dr. W. Henneman
Drs. C. Hoeberigs
I. Haest LLM
J. Kroll
D. Warnier
L. Heijnens

Website: Unit Forensische Radiologie MUMC+

Legal Psychology

Prof. dr. Otgaar’s research concentrates on legal psychology. Specifically, his work focuses on the functioning of memory and its relation to statements in eyewitnesses and perpetrators. That is, his work focuses on developmental changes in memory from childhood to adulthood and he is interested in factors (e.g., trauma) that relate to the development of memory illusions. Furthermore, he has a strong interest in biases and legal decision-making and how biases can affect expert witness work. He collaborates with research groups in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Canada, Sweden, France, Australia, Chili, Romania, Italy, North America, and Indonesia. Furthermore, he has received awards for his research and teaching. Current studies focus on precursors of children’s and adults’ false memories, eyewitness memory, adaptive memory, delayed disclosure of sexual abuse, and interviewing children and adults.

Prof. Merckelbach and Prof. Jelicic and Prof. de Ruiter and dr. Horselenberg