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Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod's Text, Cases, & Materials on Criminal Law

Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod's Text, Cases, & Materials on Criminal Law (13th edn)

David Ormerod and Karl Laird
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date: 23 February 2024

p. 70723. Mental conditionslocked

p. 70723. Mental conditionslocked

  • David OrmerodDavid OrmerodProfessor of Criminal Justice, University College London and Deputy High Court Judge
  •  and Karl LairdKarl LairdLecturer in Law at Exeter College, University of Oxford and a Senior Retained Lecturer at Pembroke College


This chapter considers the ways in which the criminal law treats people suffering from mental disorders. The following controversies are examined: when an individual can be regarded as mentally incapable of being tried; the relationship between insane and sane automatism; the extent to which the insanity defence reflects modern psychiatric practice; whether the lack of direct correlation between the medical and legal definitions of ‘insanity’ infringes the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR); and how the insanity defence ought to be reformed.

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