The Importance of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder for Criminal Law in Practice: Views of Queensland Lawyers
Queensland Lawyer, 32 3: 153-164
Posted: 25 Jun 2015 Last revised: 29 Apr 2016
Date Written: 2012
Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, or FASD, refers to a range of conditions resulting from pre-natal exposure to maternal drinking. Various cognitive and physical impairments are associated with a diagnosis of FASD. The impairments associated with FASD have implications for the way that lawyers take instructions from defendants and witnesses, for framing arguments and submissions on criminal responsibility and defences, suggesting appropriate bail conditions and for submissions on sentence. International research suggests that about two per cent of the population have FASD and around 60% of those with FASD come into contact with the criminal justice system. This article reports on a survey of Queensland lawyers about their understanding of FASD and how they deal with FASD in their legal work.
JEL Classification: k00
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