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The absence of the subject of Legal Psychology in law education is one of the factors that hinder the Angolan Justice System

Cesário Sousa

Criminal psychologist and writer

One of the main weaknesses of the teaching of Law in our universities is the fact that the curricular grades neglect the sciences that help them, these being essential complements for the understanding of the phenomenon and the search for material truth.


Nowadays, countries such as the United States of America, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Spain, etc., have a more comprehensive Justice System, with multidisciplinarity as a support base for resolving disputes that may arise within the scope of justice. . For these countries, the application of legal rules is inevitable without resorting to the aid of "science that analyzes human behavior and mental processes".

Legal Psychology refers us entirely to the investment of psychological knowledge to matters related to the knowledge of Law. However, we infer that the execution of psychological expert work and psychological consultancy in the different periods of the criminal process, was an integral part of justice as in other latitudes in the world. Unfortunately, in Angola, requesting the assistance of the Psychologist in the legal activity has been an exception and, in most cases, this activity is perceived in reverse.

Being important as a consultant and mediator, in our country, the work of the psychologist is not yet established with professionals in the field of Law as a means often used in the processes of, investigation, instruction, prevention of criminal act, execution of the sentence, clarification and decision.

As the results of the investigations made by Professor Doutor Fernandes Manuel, Clinical / Forensic Psychologist, point out by our universities - in particular the Faculty of Law of Universidade Agostinho Neto, "model in the country" - we consider the absence of the discipline of Legal Psychology to be serious. Law courses.

By this we mean that, in general - and in particular the various situations of errors of understanding and decisions, which are observed during the course of some judicial proceedings - the serious consequences that hamper the legal system of our country are linked to not use of psychology as an important tool to understand the issues related to the mental health of litigants.

If Justice Operators provide themselves with basic knowledge in psychology - in addition to the domain of legal norms - they can have significant improvements in the exercise of their functions. They will have the possibility to acquire, in a systematic way, practical and technical knowledge of a scientific level that are essential for the understanding of the forensics and psychological examinations of the profiles of the perpetrators of crimes.

With knowledge in psychology, Justice Operators will also have subsidies that reinforce their decisions when declaring an accused as guilty and / or arbitrating the defendant's conviction or acquittal, always with the aim of promoting justice for the good of society and the State Democratic and Law in Angola.

As already proven by psychology, we can say that:

"Everything that covers the human being is capable of psychological analysis and interpretation"

Therefore, we recommend that every process conducted by a Judicial Magistrate is accompanied by psychologists, so that, in the name of the people, justice is administered in a more assertive manner and effectively contribute to the consolidation of the Democratic State and the Law.

With the advance of science, it is incomprehensible and unacceptable that there are professionals such as Judges, Lawyers, Attorneys, etc., who deal with various conflicts in society, who do not have the minimum knowledge in Psychology. It is necessary to bring an understanding of "subjectivity of being" to law degree courses and to the training of magistrates and other judicial operators.

For the science of behavior and mental processes, the human being is not constantly rational. Psychology analyzes the particular aspects that, for the Law, arouses attention. Consequently, for the law professional, it is crucial to know the psychological specificities of your area, both in interpretation and in your technical decisions.

"One must stop transmitting the idea that the Law is the same as that of a lawyer".

An excessively "juristic" analysis and without humanistic baggage, leads to an excessively weak production and without solid results.

Legal Psychology collaborates in the creation and materialization of a set of plans for citizenship, human rights and prevention of violence, having as main objective the involvement in the inclination of psychological information at the disposal, not only of the "jurists", but also of the individuals who claim for such intervention, in family orientation and provides subsidies to the judicial process. It also assists in drafting, reviewing and interpreting laws, as well as advising judicial bodies, creating strategies to fight crime, analyzing the emotional and intellectual state of children, adolescents and adults in relation to legal proceedings - whether due to mental insanity , contested wills, acceptance into foster homes, possession and custody of children - using psychological methods and techniques to define legal liability for criminal conduct, care for victims of violence, mediation (alternatives to the judicial route) etc.

For example, the lawyer who has a background in psychology, although basic, tends to conduct a legal process with a greater chance of success. This is because psychology will allow you to understand your client's psychological reports and/or examinations more clearly. In judicial proceedings, it is of utmost importance that Justice Operators understand the individual in their "biopsychosocial" psychic, social and biological perspectives, in the period of their decisions, complaints and defenses, to help them comprehensively understand their subject matter. job.

As professionals of Psychology and lovers of justice, we are concerned with our country and, we understand that this issue does not constitute a false problem, which is why we must seek to solve it. However, we recommend that our Executive, in the person of His Excellency President of the Republic, create an Interministerial Commission composed of the Ministries of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation and that of Justice and Human Rights, which in collaboration with The Attorney General's Office, the Ombudsman's Office and the Order of Psychologists of Angola, will be able to point out the best path to be followed for the implementation of psychology in the curriculum of Law courses at our Universities, as well as the permanent training of Justice Operators.

Opinion of
Cesário Sousa

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