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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

Print version ISSN 0034-7450


PEREZ GONZALEZ, Ernesto. Forensic Tasks of Psychiatry and Bonds with Criminal Law and Criminology. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2005, vol.34, suppl.1, pp.116-128. ISSN 0034-7450.

In this article the author describes the aims and objectives of Psychiatry in relation with the Criminal Sciences, emphasizing issues such as expert intervention and assessment in complex cases, all of them restrained by different and specific laws and rules. Each one of these tasks may use a different focus in solving a problem, which is not necessarily appropriate in solving another. That is why the definition of these aims is important. The author also defines the experts" issues in relation with the mental state of a person at specific moment of the criminal process, according to the person"s role as perpetrator, victim, witness or inmate. In those cases answers are needed in relation with the way the criminal process categorizes each one, which differs from the way Psychiatry does. There is a risk in the fact that one expert, taking over different functions, may make use of differing methods to arrive to erroneous conclusions, like for example when he concludes insanity based on a criminological analysis instead of using a clinical one, or uses only a clinical analysis in a criminological investigation. Finally, the main differences between Psychiatry and Criminology are presented. The authorSargues that many of their functions are interdisciplinary in nature, which determines the fact that other specialists other than psychiatrists, such as psychologists, neurophysiologists and others, contribute in knowledge and skills to achieve the final objective.

Keywords : Criminology; jurisprudence; forensic psychiatry; expert testimony.

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