Culture and Expert Psychiatric Evidence
Expert Evidence, Chapter 53, ed. Ian Freckelton QC and Hugh Selby (Thomson Reuters, 2015)
37 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2015 Last revised: 8 Nov 2015
Date Written: August 20, 2015
There is extensive evidence that we should take into account a patient’s beliefs in evaluating the presence and severity of illness and disability, and in predicting a patient’s response to treatment. Health and legal systems in multicultural societies face many challenges. Cultural minorities, particularly those with limited English fluency, are disadvantaged in the medical system due to barriers to access to appropriate services or to the full range of mental health services, many of which are language-based. This also applies in the legal system. Courts and tribunals have been willing to hear evidence of cultural factors across a range of practice areas. Evidence of cultural factors can assist courts and tribunals in arriving at determinations. Without an adequate appreciation of relevant cultural matters, courts and tribunals may arrive at incorrect and unjust decisions.
Keywords: Evidence, Expert Evidence, Advocacy, Litigation, Mental Health
JEL Classification: K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation