Modern Examination of Insanity Defense in Criminal Law Under the Development of the Dynamic Psychiatry – From Categorization to Functionalism
1 Pages Posted: 25 May 2011
Date Written: May 13, 2011
In past, the common legal concept of insanity defense was a concept of categories. Accordingly, in order to prevent imposition of criminal liability upon the offender out of insanity, the offender should have been recognized as suffering of "mental disease". Only if the mental disease could have been related to a specific list of diseases, the offender could have been considered as insane.
Medical major developments and legal developments since the nineteenth century brought up changes in this concept. The dynamic psychiatry, which became major measure in mental disorder understanding, compelled a deep change in the former concept. It is argued, that any mental disorder should be examined functionally, and not by categories, as to the application upon the defense of insanity in criminal law. Only under functional examination, it is possible to seriously examine cases of temporary insanity or partial insanity. The article argues for the functional examination of mental disorder as the necessary measure to examine the applicability of the insanity defense in criminal law.
Keywords: insanity, criminal law
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