2004 issue 4


Volume 13, issue 4

Review article

Forensic expert opinion-forms, features and types

Danuta Hajdukiewicz1
1. Kliniki Psychiatrii Sądowej Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Pruszkowie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 2004, 13 (4), 369-376
Keywords: psychiatric forensic expertise


Aim. This review article presents basic forms, features and kinds of the forensic psychiatrist opinion.

Review. The court of justice takes forensic expert opinion or the scientific and research institute opinion whenever it needs some special information. Unlike a private expert opinion presented by the defence, the forensic expert opinion requested by the court is considered to be evidence at the trial. The court makes the final decision about the opinion form (i.e. written or verbal, joint or separate in case there are two or more experts) and as to who should be an expert. The joint opinion of experts from different areas is called a complex opinion. Very often this type of opinion is the one prepared by the group of experts at the scientific and research institute and must be in written form. By law, forensic opinion should be complete, clear and without any contradiction. The expert opinion given under oath must be objective and should be prepared with conscientiousness and impartiality. The court expects a categorical statement from the expert, but (this is impossible each opinion should be presented in the probable form with indicating how likely something is. Occasionally only alternative opinion can be offered.

Address for correspondence:
Dr Danuta Hąjdukiewicz, Klinika Psychiatrii Sądowej Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii,
ul. Partyzantów 2/4, 05-802 Pruszków