Forensic Psychiatric Assessment for Capital Crime Offenders with Mental Illness in China: A Stakeholder Perspective Analysis

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Title: Forensic Psychiatric Assessment for Capital Crime Offenders with Mental Illness in China: A Stakeholder Perspective Analysis
Authors: Jiang, Lilou
Date: 2016-03
Abstract: This paper investigates the accessibility and reliability of forensic psychiatric assessment for capital crime offenders who raise the defense of insanity in the Chinese criminal justice system. At present, only the judicial authority agencies can order a psychiatric assessment in criminal cases, whereas suspects/defendants’ requests for mental evaluation are subject to the approval of the former, who, in practice, tend to accept requests from suspects bearing misdemeanor charges, but are inclined to deny an assessment when dealing with felony offenses. This paper begins with an introduction to the legislation related to psychiatric assessment in China, and is followed by an investigation of the factors militating against China’s judicial authority ordering a psychiatric assessment for capital crime offenders raising the defense of insanity. It then examines the public stigma in Chinese society and the traditional philosophical thoughts behind the historical legal treatment of mentally ill offenders. It concludes that the historical punitive attitude toward mental illness will continue influencing stakeholders’ choices in the context of psychiatric assessment as long as China’s judicial system emphasizes the superiority of social stability over individual human rights. Some practicable reforms are proposed at the end.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/34460
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-872
CollectionCREPD - Documents de travail // HRREC - Working Papers
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