2005 issue 3


Volume 14, issue 3

Review article

The structure of forensic psychiatric expert opinions concerning criminal and civil cases

Danuta Hajdukiewicz1
1. Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Warszawie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2005; 14 (3): 195-243
Keywords: structure of forensic psychiatric opinions, criminal proceedings, civil proceedings


Objective. To encourage the psychiatric community to apply a common structure of forensic psychiatric expert opinions in both criminal and civil cases in the hope that this will improve the quality of the opinions (which is unsatisfactory at present) and will help the court to evaluate the opinions. Another goal is to train resident physicians to write forensic psychiatric opinions correctly.

Review. The proposed structure for forensic psychiatric opinions is based on: (a) the norms of the criminal code, art. 200 § 2 and art. 201-203 and the civil code, art 278 § 3 and art. 285 § 1; (b) the opinions of legal commentators of these codes; and (c) Supreme Court sentences.

Conclusions. The structure of most frequently issued opinions has been proposed: in criminal cases - appraisal of the defendant 's mental condition and in civil cases - appraisal of capacity to bequeath.

Address for correspondence:
Dr Danuta Hajdukiewicz, Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii, ul. Sobieskiego 9, 02-957 Warszawa