Due Process - The Interviews

19 -- Non-Verbal Cues in the Courtroom

Episode Summary

In this episode Trevor speaks with lawyer, researcher, and lecturer Vincent Denault, about the use of non-verbal cues in deception detection and credibility assessments in Canada’s Criminal Justice System. Topics discussed include the use of science in court rooms, the dangers of pseudo science, the relationship between science and the law, the importance of non-verbal cues and behaviour in effective communication, the problem of applying research from investigative interviews to court room testimony, the difference between veracity and credibility, and the importance of collaboration and open-mindedness in improving our justice system.

Episode Notes

Vincent Denault holds a PHD in Communication from the University of Montreal, and has a Master of Laws from the University of Quebec. Vincent is now a post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology of McGill University. He is also a lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of Sherbrooke. His research focuses on issues related to witness testimony, credibility assessment, deception detection, and nonverbal behaviour in courtrooms.

In the past, Vincent has held positions at the University of Montreal, where he was a postdoctoral scholar at the International Centre for Comparative Criminology, and as a research consultant at the Department of Communication of University of California.  

In addition to all of this, Vincent is the author of many academic articles and a contributor to numerous publications.


Denault, V., & Patterson, M. (2021). Justice and nonverbal communication in a post-pandemic world: An evidence-based commentary and cautionary statement for lawyers and judges. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 45,1-10.http://doi.org/10.1007/s10919-020-00339-x

Denault, V. (2020). Misconceptions about nonverbal cues to deception : a covert threat to the justice system? Frontiers in Psychology – Personality and Social Psychology, 11, 573460.

Denault, V., Plusquellec, P., Jupe, L. M., St-Yves, M., Dunbar, N. E., Hartwig, M., … van Koppen, P. J. (2020). The analysis of nonverbal communication: The dangers of pseudoscience in security and justice contexts. Anuario de Psicología Jurídica, 30, 1-12. http://doi.org/10.5093/apj2019a9

Denault, V., Dunbar, N., & Plusquellec, P. (2019). The detection of deception during trials: Ignoring the nonverbal communication of witnesses is not the solution – A response to Vrij and Turgeon (2018). The International Journal of Evidence and Proof, 24(1), 3-11. http://doi.org/10.1177/1365712719851133

Rochat, N., Delmas, H., Denault, V., Elissalde, B., & Demarchi, S. (2018). La synergologie révisée par les pairs, analyse d’une publication [Synergology peer-reviewed, analysis of a publication]. Revue québécoise de psychologie, 39(2), 247-266. http://doi.org/10.7202/1051231ar

Denault, V., Larivée, S., Plouffe, D., & Plusquellec, P. (2015). La synergologie, une lecture pseudoscientifique du langage corporel [Synergology, a pseudoscientific reading of body language]. Revue de Psychoéducation, 43(2), 425-455. http://doi.org/10.7202/1039262ar


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