The Federation Press

Psychiatry in Court

Psychiatric reports and psychiatric evidence in court proceedings


The role of the psychiatrist in the court is on the increase. In this book, the author's main concern is twofold. 'The court has to be capable of understanding:

  • exactly what it is that the psychiatrist is trying to tell the court about the accused;
  • the limitations of the language and the concepts that the psychiatrist is using.'

The reviews conclude that the author succeeds.

"This book, by a psychiatrist, is written for lawyers. But it is a thoroughly good read and will prove fascinating to lay people. [Shea] is eminently qualified in the field. ... The legal profession and the judiciary ... will be well advised to read it and have it available for reference. ... This long overdue text explains, in a clear and illuminating manner, the language and concepts of psychiatry..."
Robert Hayes, President, Mental Health Review Tribunal (New South Wales)

Table of Contents

The language of psychiatry
The classification of psychiatric disorders
The major schools of psychiatry
Depressive disorders
Post-traumatic stress disorder
The assessment
The psychiatrist and the person being assessed
The assessment process
The connection between mental disorder and criminal behaviour
Mental disorder and criminal behaviour
The concept of dangerousness
The relationship between mental disorder and dangerousness
The prediction of dangerousness

Bibliography/ Index

Of interest...