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Chapter 14. Scope and limits of psychiatric evidence in international criminal law

Chapter 14. Scope and limits of psychiatric evidence in international criminal law

Spencer, Dragana (2020) Chapter 14. Scope and limits of psychiatric evidence in international criminal law. In: Fournet, Caroline and Matwijkiw, Anja, (eds.) Biolaw and International Criminal Law: Towards Interdisciplinary Synergies. Series: Studies in International Criminal Law . Brill - Martinus Nijhoff, Leiden; Boston, pp. 338-363. ISBN 978-9004364431; 978-9004364424; 9004364439

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This contribution examines the role of the mental health sector evidence in international crimes prosecutions. Specifically, recent trials are examined with a view to assess the scope and limits of psychiatric evidence in relation to war crimes defences. Scrutinizing fully the origins and triggers of individual criminal responsibility, serves the interests of justice and enhances trial rights. This study also tries to illustrate the undesirable but extensive use of hearsay evidence in international criminal courts and the ways in which psychiatric evidence is used frequently to validate inconsistent testimonies and hearsay accounts of presumed victims and witnesses but not to enable defendants to form defences. The chapter concludes that defence trial rights would be better protected if relevant legal lacunae and ambiguities regarding the admissibility of psychiatric evidence are clarified and if the amount of such evidence required to satisfy certain defences, such as duress, is quantified with greater specificity.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: psychiatric evidence; war crimes; burden of proof; fairness
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
K Law > K Law (General)
K Law > KZ Law of Nations
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Law & Criminology (LAC)
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Last Modified: 21 Feb 2024 14:07

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