2012 issue 2

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Volume 21, issue 2

Practical reflections

Costs of forensic opinions and experts’ fees for rendering a forensic-psychiatric opinion

Krzysztof Eichstaedt1, Kinga Bobińska2, Piotr Gałecki2
1. Sąd Apelacyjny, Łódź
2. Klinika Psychiatrii Dorosłych, Uniwersytet Medyczny, Łódź
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2012, 21(2): 143–148
Keywords: forensic psychiatry, forensic–psychiatric observation, costs of forensic opinion, experts’ fees

Abstract

Objectives. An attempt was made in the paper to objectively and reliably assess the legislation on and practice of estimating the costs of forensic opinions and experts' fees for rendering such opinions.
Observations. The agency conducting the trial is obligated to bear the costs of forensic expert opinions – the costs include not only the experts' fees, but possibly also these of performing additional diagnostic examinations or forensic-psychiatric observation. Forensic experts' fees are estimated on the grounds of offi cial regulations specifying the price for services of forensic experts representing particular professions and specialties. If an expert's fee cannot be established by a normative flat rate, an hourly rate is used in pricing of their work. Services of the expert psychiatrist commissioned by the court or prosecution to render a forensic psychiatric opinion do not directly serve prevention, maintenance, rescue, restoration and improvement of health, therefore such services are not exempt from VAT.
Conclusions. Controversies and discrepancies between the legislation, practice, and contemporary expectations are numerous. Undoubtedly, there is a definite discrepancy between the VAT regulations and the pricing practice, which suggests that the legislation should be adjusted to contemporary reality.

Address for correspondence:
dr hab. n. med. Piotr Gałecki
Klinika Psychiatrii Dorosłych UM w Łodzi
ul. Aleksandrowska 159, 91‒229 Łódź
tel. (42)6521289
e-mail: galeckipiotr@wp.pl