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This podcast's purpose is to bring together the field of neuroprosthetics/brain machine interfaces/brain implants in an understandable conversation about the current topics and breakthroughs.

We hope to replace needing to read scientific papers on new research in an easy to digest way.

People can share thoughts or ideas to facilitate 'idea sex' to make the field of brain implants a smaller and more personal space.

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:

  1. Brain-computer interfaces may change the way we will need to think about criminal justice and responsibility for crimes
  2. Higher courts will need to carefully consider how they respond to the issue of crimes committed by way of brain-computer interface as they will set a precedent for other courts
  3. The questions being raised in this dilemma are giving us a greater understanding of criminal law overall and its true purpose

[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