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Dec 9, 2019
Dr. Allan McCay is a legal scholar working in Australia, and his work involves legal and ethical issues in the field of neurolaw. In this episode, he discusses the legal and jurisprudential issues behind brain-computer interfaces and how their advent and proliferation could affect how crimes are viewed in legal system.
Top three takeaways:
[0:00] Ladan introduces the episode and gives a background of Dr. Allan McCay
[3:30] Dr. McCay explains criminal law in the brain-computer interface world
[5:30] In criminal prosecution, it must be proven that the defendant had a “guilty mind” and intends to commit the crime, and committing a crime by way of brain-computer interface can muddy the waters in the prosecution
[8:00] Dr. McCay gives a specific example of committing a crime by way of brain-computer interface and a “mental” criminal act
[11:00] People cannot control mental acts and thoughts as well as bodily acts
[13:30] Could a neural implants case create a precedent of no responsibility for crimes committed under a brain-computer interface?
[18:15] Dr. McCay discusses how this issue will likely resolve in the future, and how the direction of the law on this issue will likely be set
[20:45] The most likely outcome would consist of courts declaring that a mental act constitutes an actus reus, and this is something that lawyers may need to think about more
[24:40] This whole dilemma and the questions being raised make us think what criminal law is really about, and allow for a greater understanding of criminal law
[26:45] Ladan provides final thoughts on the discussion as well as details of a follow-up discussion with Dr. McCay