Anglo-American Insanity Defence Reform: The War Between Law and Medicine, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Anglo-American Insanity Defence Reform

The War Between Law and Medicine, 1st Edition

By Faye Boland


194 pages

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Paperback: 9781138610194
pub: 2020-01-01
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Hardback: 9781138610170
pub: 2018-07-31
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429460340
pub: 2019-01-15
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First published in 1999, The book examines the magnitude of the polemic surrounding each attempt to reformulate the insanity defence in the United States, England and Ireland. The book contains a critique of the McNaghten Rules, the defence of irresistible impulse, the product test of insanity, the justly responsible test, the American Law Institute’s test of insanity and the Butler Committee’s proposed revision. At the heart of the controversy surrounding each reformulation has been a medico-legal tension over the wording of the insanity defence and whether law or psychiatry’s view of insanity should prevail. The book looks at the success of the English diminished responsibility defence in abating the controversy. The result of introducing this defence has been the emergence of the legal and medical professions from a state of cold war to entente cordiale. The book explores the reasons for the diminished responsibility defence’s success in resolving the polemic over the insanity defence.

Table of Contents

1. The McNaghten Rules. 2. The Defence of Irresistible Impulse. 3. United States Reform Post Irresistible Impulse. 4. Butler and Beyond. 5. The Homicide Act, 1957 and Its Origin. 6. The Defence of Diminished Responsibility in English Law. 7. Conclusions.

About the Author

Faye Boland, University of Liverpool, UK

About the Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General