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