Project 39A Interdisciplinary Online Courses in Forensic Pathology and Mental Health Now Available on FutureLearn

Project 39A, in collaboration with Eleos Justice of Monash University, has created two interdisciplinary courses — Decoding forensic science for legal professionals and Forensic Mental Health and Criminal Justice. These courses are available for free on FutureLearn, a leading online learning platform.

Project 39A is a criminal justice initiative based at the National Law University, Delhi. His areas of research include forensics, mental health, death penalty, legal aid and torture. Project 39A addresses these issues within the criminal justice system through rigorous empirical research and legal interventions. Eleos Justice of Monash University School of Law works on death penalty issues in the Asian region through research, advocacy and training.

These courses bring together renowned legal and forensic experts including judges, lawyers, forensic pathologists and mental health professionals from India, Australia and the UK. These short, interactive, self-paced courses were created for judges, lawyers, and students of law, forensic science, forensic psychiatry, and psychology. The learning process was simplified and engaging through a series of video lectures, articles, quizzes and case studies.

The lesson ‘Deciphering forensic science for legal professionals‘ explores the scientific concepts behind forensic pathology, medical examination in sexual offense cases, bite evidence, and forensic DNA profiling. It also deals with the legal aspects relating to the presentation of such evidence and its examination by the courts.

The lesson ‘Forensic Mental Health and Criminal Justice emphasizes the relevance of the mental health of the accused within the criminal justice system and the various stages where it intersects with the criminal law. The course covers both legal and forensic aspects of mental health in three broad areas: fitness to stand trial, the defense of insanity, and the role of mental health in capital punishment cases.

Both courses draw on Project 39A’s research on forensic science in India and its extensive criminal defense work. Although it offers special insights for Indian audiences, it is equally relevant for learners around the world as it covers many common issues found in multiple jurisdictions.

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