Conflicts in practice

In forensic psychology practice conflicting responsibilities and demands may be encountered. When conflicts occur, forensic practitioners seek to make the conflict known to the relevant parties or agencies, and consider the rights and interests of the relevant parties or agencies in their attempts to resolve the conflict.

7.02 Conflicts with Organizational Demands

When the demands of an organization with which they are affiliated or for whom they are working conflict with their professional responsibilities and obligations, forensic practitioners strive to clarify the nature of the conflict and, to the extent feasible, resolve the conflict in a way consistent with professional obligations and responsibilities (EPPCC Standard 1.03).

7.03 Resolving Ethical Issues with Fellow Professionals

When an apparent or potential ethical violation has caused, or is likely to cause, substantial harm, forensic practitioners are encouraged to take action appropriate to the situation and consider a number of factors including the nature and the immediacy of the potential harm; applicable privacy, confidentiality, and privilege; how the rights of the relevant parties may be affected by a particular course of action; and any other legal or ethical obligations (EPPCC Standard 1.04). Steps to resolve perceived ethical conflicts may include, but are not be limited to, obtaining the consultation of knowledgeable colleagues, obtaining the advice of independent counsel, and conferring directly with the client.

When forensic practitioners believe there may have been an ethical violation by another professional, an attempt is made to resolve the issue by bringing it to the attention of that individual, if that attempt does not violate any rights or privileges that may be involved, and if an informal resolution appears appropriate (EPPCC Standard 1.04). If this does not result in a satisfactory resolution, the forensic practitioner may have to take further action appropriate to the situation, including making a report to third parties of the perceived ethical violation (EPPCC Standard 1.05). In most instances, in order to minimize unforeseen risks to the party’s rights in the legal matter, forensic practitioners consider consulting with the client before attempting to resolve a perceived ethical violation with another professional.