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Scope, limits and appropriatness of psychiatric testimony in international criminal law

Scope, limits and appropriatness of psychiatric testimony in international criminal law

Radosavljevic, Dragana (2013) Scope, limits and appropriatness of psychiatric testimony in international criminal law. International Criminal Law Review, 13 (5). pp. 1013-1035. ISSN 1567-536X (Print), 1571-8123 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1163/15718123-01305011)

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Abstract

This paper examines the role of the mental health sector evidence in international war crimes prosecutions. Specifically, recent trials are examined with a view to assess the scope and limits of psychiatric evidence in the context of war crimes defences and corresponding sentencing models. In contemporary international law punitive goals are very strong and psychiatric expert testimony is marginalised for being overly lenient and therefore its use is frequently deemed incompatible with the overall interests of justice. This may be evidenced form the absence of a diminished responsibility defence under the ICC Statute. Law and psychiatry may appear to have conflicting investigative objectives, nevertheless, scrutinizing fully the origin of war crimes and their triggers, would, to a degree, restore the inequality of arms in international trials between the defence and the prosecution, as well as promote and advance trial human rights. In this context, this study concludes that international human rights as well as trial and pre-trial rights of defendants facing prosecution before international criminal courts may only be fully protected if relevant legal lacunae and ambiguities regarding the admissibility psychiatric evidence are clarified and if the amount of such evidence required to satisfy the burden of proof is quantified with specificity.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Presented at the International Congress on Law and Mental Health, 2011, Berlin, Germany
Uncontrolled Keywords: war crimes, psychiatric evidence, burden of proof, trial rights
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Department of Law & Criminology
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:26
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/11037

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