skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 171313 Find in a Library
Title: American Psychiatric Association Resource Document on Peer Review of Expert Testimony
Journal: Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law  Volume:25  Issue:3  Dated:(1997)  Pages:359-373
Corporate Author: American Psychiatric Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: American Psychiatric Assoc
Arlington, VA 22209
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews psychiatrists' testimony as expert witnesses in court or similar settings, the question of real or perceived bias or incompetence, and possible solutions.
Abstract: At times psychiatrists who testify as expert witnesses have been perceived in the popular, legal, and medical literature as either deficient in knowledge or to have knowingly behaved in an unethical manner to advance the cause of the party who hired them. The American Psychiatric Association Council on Psychiatry and Law appointed a task force to review the question of expert testimony and the development of standards to guide the peer review process. This article discusses some of the topics for consideration by the task force: (1) voluntary versus mandatory peer review; (2) general issues in the voluntary peer review process; (3) performance areas to be reviewed; (4) who should serve as peer reviewers; (5) conflict of interest and confidentiality; (6) sponsors; (7) training; (8) the process; and (9) issues for mandatory peer review. Experience with peer review of expert psychiatric testimony indicates that the greatest barrier to peer review is professional acceptance of the process. Note, references, appendixes
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Courts; Expert witnesses; Medicolegal considerations; Peer assessment; Psychiatric testimony; Psychologists role in criminal justice; Scientific testimony; Technical experts; Witness credibility
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.