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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78569 Find in a Library
Title: Legal Problems of Pedagogical Psychiatric Reports in Juvenile Court Proceedings, Illustrated With the Example of the Zuerich Code of Criminal Procedures
Author(s): V Wissler-Schefer
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 232
Sponsoring Agency: Juris Druck und Verlag
Zurich, Switzerland
Sale Source: Juris Druck und Verlag
Type: Thesis/Dissertation
Language: German
Country: Switzerland
Annotation: Principles underlying the use of psychiatric reports for juvenile proceedings in Switzerland and areas in which such reports may be misapplied are outlined in a Zurich dissertation.
Abstract: Background reports on juveniles are essential for diagnosis of individual juveniles' special problems and for choice of the most appropriate measures under juvenile criminal law. The examining psychiatrist must be as thorough as possible in the examination and must question the family of the juvenile in detail. However, a number of legal problems arise in connection with such reports. The study examines whether it is justified for the psychiatrist and other individuals familiar with the report to collaborate in discussing solutions, whether the expert should be given unlimited access to court records, and whether experts can legitimately seek to obtain information themselves. Also examined is whether the judge should verify the original material by questioning witnesses in order to assure that psychiatrists have a factual basis for their reports. The issue of confidentiality and the limits of permissible medical examination are investigated in a major section of the study. The process of report evaluation by the judge and the relationship of the report to the judge's final decision are discussed. Misuse of reports may occur in a variety of circumstances. Discussed are misuse when participants in proceedings are allowed to see reports, misuse when juvenile and counsel are present during questioning by experts in preliminary proceedings, misuse as a result of participation of concerned parties in the main trial, misuse at the judgment stage, and misuse when the public is informed by the court about proceedings. A list of suggestions for avoiding misuse of reports, extensive notes, and a bibliography of 160 entries are supplied.
Index Term(s): Background investigations; Confidential records access; Expert witnesses; Forensic psychiatry; Judges; Juvenile court procedures; Juvenile courts; Legal privacy protection; Medicolegal considerations; Personality assessment; Presentence studies; Switzerland
Note: Universitaet Zuerich (Switzerland) - doctoral dissertation.
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