• Jan M. Smits



Neuroscience and law (in brief ‘Neurolaw’) is one of the most exciting recent developments at the intersection of law and science. It is a rapidly emerging field that reveals all kinds of details about how the human brain works. The aim of the course was to explore how this new scientific knowledge can or should affect the law. This influence is potentially important. The main reason for this is that law is full of presumptions about how and why people act. These presumptions are increasingly questioned by neuroscientists, giving rise to what some have called a ‘neuro-revolution’ in our thinking about law. However, it is far from clear what the exact impact of neuro-scientific insights has to be. The main aim of the course was to explore this impact. This led us to explore a wide range of different issues: a. a mapping exercise of the potential impact of neuroscience on law. This mapping exercise was the main activity during the first seven weeks of the project. b. an exploration of a number of more specific topics. Students selected these topics during the first seven weeks and then wrote an individual paper during the second part of the project.