Murder: New Versus Old Diminished Responsibility: Legal and Psychiatric Perspectives

Date: Thursday 09 February 2012

Time: 18:00 to 19:00

Venue: 53-54 Doughty Street, London, WC1N 2LS

Speakers: Edward Fitzgerald CBE QC, Professor Nigel Eastman, Forensic Psychiatry Chambers

CPD: 1.5 Points

Fee: Free

This jont seminar with Forensic Psychiatry Chambers.

The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 made significant changes to the partial defences available to a charge of murder. The Act substantially amended the law relating to diminished responsibility. The changes apply to offences committed from 4th October 2010.

The aim of this seminar is to examine the new defence of diminished responsibility from both a legal and psychiatric perspective. It will compare the old and new law, seek to interpret the terms used within 'new diminished responsibility' and consider the role, presentation and interpretation of expert evidence in supporting or opposing the defence.

Edward Fitzgerald QC is joint head of Doughty Street Chambers and has appeared in many of the leading murder appeals raising mental health issues (including Sarah Thornton, Maria Pearson, Zoora Shah, Kenneth Erskine and the St. Lucia Privy Council appeal of Francis and Kim John - "the Cathedral murders").

Professor Nigel Eastman is Professor Emeritus of Law and Ethics in Psychiatry and an Honorary Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist at St George's, University of London. He was the main author of the response of the Royal College of Psychiatrists to the Law Commission Consultation Paper recommending reform of the law of murder, subsequently lectured to the judiciary for the Judicial Studies Board on the new enacted provisions, and has extensive experience as an expert witness in murder trials. He is a founding member of Forensic Psychiatry Chambers.


Edward Fitzgerald QC - The Defence of Diminished Responsibility 
Professor Nigel Eastman - New Versus Old Diminished Responsibility - Case Examples
Professor Nigel Eastman - New Versus Old Diminshed Responsibility - Slides 

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