Jul 5, 2019 by Foresight

For Which Cases Might a Solicitor Instruct a Psychiatry Expert Witness?

Due to the complex nature of Psychiatry and its various applications across medicine and science, a psychiatry expert witness has many applications legally. Their role in a court is essentially based around adding clarity to the highly intricate and multifaceted factor in cases that is mental health. Their presence on a case will ensure that the necessaries are considered in full and that a fairer trial ensues. Here are a few examples of cases which a psychiatry expert witness may add clarity to:

Parenting Capacity

In cases where a parent’s ability to effectively look after a child is called into question, a psychiatry expert witness may be required to add clarity. It may be that the parent in question suffers from a mental affliction or has an addiction to substances or alcohol. A parent suffering from post-natal depression may also have their parenting capacity called into question. In cases such as the aforementioned, a psychiatry expert witness will conduct a series of psychiatric assessments on the necessary individuals. Following their assessments they may recommend whether a parent is fit to look after their child, or a course of action which must be taken in order for them to be a capable parent, such as therapy or rehabilitation.

Substance Abuse

When a crime has been committed as a result of intoxication, it is essential that the mental health of the individual in question is taken into account. If the cause of the defendant’s drug addiction or alcohol abuse is as a result of mental illness, then this must be considered in the mens rea of the crime. The degree to which the individual was in full control of their actions may be uncovered by a psychiatry expert witness, and will aid a fairer trial.

Fitness to Plead

In cases where the mental wellbeing of an individual is called into question, it is essential that they are given a thorough psychiatric examination to ensure that they are fit to stand trial. A psychiatric expert witness will understand the criteria necessary for an individual to be able to stand trial and those which would suggest that an individual is unfit to do so.

A Psychiatry Expert Witness Report and its Importance

Following their assessments of either the necessary individuals in a case, the psychiatry expert witness will produce a report which compounds their conclusions on the case. Though the evidence compiled in this document will be expert and complex in its nature, it will be written as to be understood at a basic understanding of psychiatry. Therefore, this evidence can be understood and considered in full by the court. The importance of a psychiatry expert witness’ report is that it will ensure that all of the evidence has been thoroughly analysed and that the necessary assessments have been conducted, which in turn will ensure a fairer trial.
Instructing a psychiatry expert witness through Foresight is a streamlined and effective way to ensure that your witness is court-ready and experienced. To speak to one of our dedicated case manager, get in touch today.


0330 088 9000


Stay up-to-date with all the latest news in the industry by signing up to our newsletter. You're welcome to unsubscribe at any time and we'll always treat your personal details with the utmost care.