A guide to what a psychiatrist needs to know in order to prepare medico-legal reports and become an expert witness.
This book covers the roles and responsibilities of the psychiatric expert witness in the context of case and statute law, administration, training and other practical matters, the medico-legal consultation and the structure and form of the expert report. Specific chapters deal with psychiatric reports in criminal, civil and family cases, as well as inquests, tribunals and other parts of the legal system. Preparation of reports for jurisdictions in the British Isles outside England and Wales is covered. Concluding chapters deal with going to court and maintaining expertise.
It will be of value to trainee psychiatrists and recently appointed consultants who need a handbook to assist them as they acquire the training, skills and knowledge necessary to prepare expert psychiatric evidence for courts and other legal forums.
Brings together in a single volume the requirements of all the relevant rules, guidance and professional codes of practice.
Uses analysis of relevant case and statute law to assist the reader in addressing legal issues with the detail required by the courts.
Includes sample letters, consent form, specimen criminal report, and other documents that can be adapted for the reader’s own use in medico-legal work.
This book is aimed at psychiatrists who wish to write medico-legal reports and become expert witnesses, but it will also be a useful resource for established expert psychiatric witnesses and the solicitors and barristers who instruct them.
“This is an excellent read and of value both to those starting out and those already with some experience as an expert.”
Dr Mike Ventress - Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist, Fieldhead Hospital, Wakefield.
“I wish I had a book like this to help me during my initial stages of forensic training. I am sure most of the forensic trainees would treasure a book like this; I would certainly recommend it be read by anyone who wishes to do some court work. It answers most of the questions that I have had during my training so far and for which I have looked far and wide for answers.”
Dr Sajid Muzaffar - Specialty Registrar in Forensic Psychiatry, The Norvic Clinic, Norwich.
“This is an admirable manual for psychiatrists, indeed for all medical practitioners who choose, or (as often happens) are obliged, to do forensic work and for the lawyers who enlist them. In short, I consider this a masterwork and wish that a guide of this depth and quality was available for all expert disciplines. I recommend it very highly.”
James Badenoch, QC - Chairman, The Expert Witness Institute, London.
“This really is a tour de force … Real practical advice in all chapters against a background of legal and medical analysis, which is just what young practitioners need.”
His Honour Judge Simon Lawler, QC, Yorkshire.
“The judge quite rightly relied upon the evidence of Dr. Rix, a most experienced and distinguished psychiatrist, well known to this court.”
Mr Justice Henriques in R v Colin Howard Parker  EWCA Crim 1916
Foreword by The Rt. Hon. The Baroness Hale of Richmond, Justice of the Supreme Court
Preface and acknowledgments
Nature and duties of an expert witness
Training, contractual, administrative and other practical matters
The medico-legal consultation
The structure, organisation and content of the generic report
Reports for criminal proceedings
Reports in personal injury cases
Reports for family proceedings relating to children
Reports in cases involving capacity
Reports for tribunals, inquests and other bodies
Reports for the Channel Islands, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland and Scotland
Going to court
Maintaining and developing expertise and knowing when to stop
Letter of response to request for a report
File front sheet
Information to accompany appointment letter
Letter requesting authorisation to use a laptop computer within a prison
Covering letter for a court report
CPS declaration and self-certificate
A note on judicial titles and their abbreviations in England and Wales
Model criminal report
About the author:
Dr Keith Rix is Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist at The Grange Consulting Rooms, Cleckheaton and at Cygnet Hospital Wyke, Bradford. His forensic experience began in the 1960s when he lived in hostels with ex-offenders and assessed prisoners for after-care hostels. He has a Master of Laws (Distinction) in Medical Law and Ethics and is a part-time lecturer in the Department of Law at De Montfort University, Leicester. He has thirty years experience as an expert witness.