Original Research

Psychiatric diagnosis in legal settings

Alfred Allan
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 11, No 2 | a100 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v11i2.100 | © 2005 Alfred Allan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 August 2008 | Published: 01 December 2005

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Abstract

When asked to give a diagnosis in legal settings practitioners should be mindful of the tentative nature of psychiatric diag- noses and that courts require that such a diagnosis must have scientific credibility. South African courts are not explicit about the test they will apply to determine whether a diagno- sis is scientifically credible, but some guidance can be found in United States case law. This paper examines these criteria with reference to the disorders included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR).

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