"PSYCHIATRIC EXPERTS AND SEXUAL CRIMES IN EUROPE: from judicial scene to public action. Comparative study: England, Spain, Romania, Sweden and France" by Jennifer BOIROT


Discipline : SCIENCES POLITIQUES, Laboratoire : CESDIP - Laboratoire de Centre de Recherches Sociologiques sur le droit et les Institutions Pénales

Abstract

For the contemporary criminal justice system, the judicial truth concerning an offence is not established merely by finding the offender and ap-plying a legal sanction, it also involves understanding the motives and circumstances surrounding the act, so as to deal with the offender more ade-quately. Recourse to psychiatry and psychology now enables specialists in these fields to provide information that is henceforth considered essential for understanding the defendant’s personality, accounting for the acts and handling the legal case. Forensic psychiatrists have therefore become an all-important part of the penal and judicial process in Europe.

However, these trends have resonated diversely in the construction and organisation of forensic psychiatric expertise within the criminal justice sys-tem in different countries. Our investigation of a number of countries (England, France, Spain, Rumania and Sweden) has brought to light enormous disparities in forensic psychiatrists’ status and in the “institutional” organisation of forensic psychiatric expertise. Observation of the dynamics of the construction of expertise provides a good understanding of the stakes connected with the forensic psychia-trist’s role in criminal justice and the judicial process in Europe at each stage in the procedure (from investigation up to trial, from assignment to the task up to use of the forensic report).

The hybrid status of forensic psychiatrists in Europe, ranging from “simple” occasional partners providing expertise as a complementary activity (in England, Spain, and France) to public employees for whom this is full-time work (in Sweden and Rumania), affects the way the person is examined. The resources and methods used to draft a report differ, depending on whether the expertise is “public”, collegiate and multidisciplinary (in Sweden and Rumania) or “private” and individual (in England, Spain and France). The content of reports is much the same, however: the “typical bare bones” of criminal psychiatric expertise revolve around the issues of evaluation of the person’s responsibility (liability), dangerousness and risk of recidivism. This convergence indicates a degree of homogeneity regarding the conception of the forensic psychiatrist’s task in the five countries studied.

Members of jury :

- Laurie BOUSSAGUET, Professeur de Science politique, l’Université de Rouen, Centre d’études européennes Sciences Po, (rapporteur)
- Xavier CRETTIEZ, Professeur de Science politique, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Centre de Recherche sociologiques sur le Droit et les Institutions Pénales - CESDIP (directeur de thèse)
- Laurence DUMOULIN, Chercheur au CNRS, Politiques publiques ACtion politique Terrtoires - PACTE, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Grenoble, (examinateur)
- Martine KALUSZYNSKI, Directeur de recherche au CNRS,HDR, Politiques publiques ACtion politique Terrtoires - PACTE, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Grenoble, (rapporteur)
- Jacques DE MAILLARD, Professeur de Science politique, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Centre de Recherche sociologiques sur le Droit et les Institutions Pénales - CESDIP, (examinateur)
- Rafael ORELLANA DE CASTRO, Expert de justice et avocat, (examinateur)

 

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http://www.eeei-newsletter.eu/23/these-jennifer-boirot.pdf