Neurotechnology and the Criminal Law – Law School: Events Neurotechnology and the Criminal Law – Law School: Events

Neurotechnology and the Criminal Law

2021 Criminal Law CPD Series:

Neurotechnology and the Criminal Law

CPD Points: 1.5




In April of this year Elon Musk’s company Neuralink gave an update about their progress towards brain-computer interface (‘BCI’) technology. A host of other companies are also working on technologies that interact with directly with the brain.

This webinar examines the way that emerging neurotechnologies such as BCIs may challenge the criminal law. In particular, it will consider how well the criminal law is placed to deal with crime committed by way of BCIs. Criminal justice systems evolved in response to incidents such as those where defendants use their limbs, hands and feet to punch, stab or kick, and more recently to control a cursor with a mouse. They were not created to address disembodied crimes that arguably take place by way of mental act, rather than a more standard bodily act.

This webinar looks at the hypothetical example of a defendant who is charged under s 91Q of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) with an offence in relation to the non-consensual uploading of intimate images of another person, which is carried out by way of BCI. It will be argued that such conduct may raise the question of what conduct constitutes the criminal act. While the law has, in the past, coped with radical technological change, and will no doubt be able to respond to this new way of acting on the world, neurobionic crime may challenge the courts at a more fundamental level than the technologies to which they have already responded — in particular, in relation to the actus reus element of crime.


Dr Allan McCay is Deputy Director of The Sydney Institute of Criminology and an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Sydney’s Law School. In addition to coordinating the Legal Research units at the Sydney Law School, he also teaches at the University of Sydney Foundation Program. He is a member of the Management Committee of the Julius Stone Institute of Jurisprudence at the University of Sydney, and an Affiliate Member of the Centre for Agency, Values, and Ethics, at Macquarie University. Allan is also a member of the NeuroRights Network, an international group working towards responsible innovation in neurotechnology. He has previously taught at the Law School at the University of New South Wales, and the Business School at the University of Sydney. Allan trained as a solicitor in Scotland and has also practised in Hong Kong with the global law firm Baker McKenzie. His first book (with Michael Sevel), Free Will and the Law: New Perspectives is published by Routledge. His second book (with Nicole Vincent and Thomas Nadelhoffer) is entitled Neurointerventions and the law: Regulating human mental capacity and is published by Oxford University Press.


Full series (7 webinars) = $300
Individual webinar(s) = $50

CLICK HERE   to register

This webinar will be released on Wednesday 27 October

You will receive a webinar link on this date, and can also register at a later date to catch up in your own time. 

About the series

This new 2021 Criminal Law CPD series, presented by the Sydney Institute of Criminology is made up of 7 webinars. Topics include: criminal behaviour in the digital age, consent and culpability in sex cases involving adults, irreducible life sentences, preventive detention; and neurotechnology and the criminal law.

You can register for the full series or individual webinar(s) and catch up on demand. Webinars will be presented by experts from Sydney Law School.

View flyer here

Program Schedule

Information for lawyers and barristers
Full attendance at this webinar series is equal to 10.5 MCLE/CPD units, based on 1.5 points per seminar attended.

For further enquiries: T +61 2 9351 0248



Oct 27 2021

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Professional Learning & Community Engagement
02 9351 0248

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