Expert Psychiatric Evidence

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Author: Keith J. B. Rix

Publisher: RCPsych Publications

Published: 01/11/2011

ISBN: 9781908020321

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This is a practical handbook about what a medical professional needs to know in order to write a medico-legal report. It enables them to see how their knowledge and experience of psychiatry can be harnessed to answer the legal questions necessary for the administration of justice and the resolution of disputes and covers the training, skills and knowledge that are necessary to prepare expert psychiatric evidence for courts and other legal situations. A variety of rules, guidance and professional codes of practice must be complied with when writing expert reports and the requirements from all of these sources are brought together here in one single volume. Chapters suitable for all medical experts include: the role and responsibilities an expert witness; the medico-legal consultation; the structure and form of the generic report; going to court; and maintaining expertise. Other chapters focus more specifically on reports for criminal proceedings, in personal injury cases, for family cases and those involving capacity, plus reports for tribunals, inquests and for jurisdictions in the British Isles outside England and Wales. Appendices include several sample letters, a consent form and other documents that can be adapted by those starting out in expert witness work. This book is aimed at psychiatrists who wish to write medico-legal reports and become expert witnesses and will also be a useful resource for established expert psychiatric witnesses and the solicitors and barristers who instruct them.