Recommendations to the Practice of National Teaching, Training and Research
For us as trainees in forensic psychiatry and psychology and forensic psychiatrists and psychologists, these frameworks are a bit ‘exotic’ but pivotal in understanding our profession. First of all, we have learned about the differences and similarities of adversarial and inquisitorial systems of trial and investigation in criminal procedure. The outcome of a trial is fair and just by the way in which lawyers, psychiatrists and psychologists and others work together within the giving system. Collaboration and communication with other disciplines is crucial. Next, training has to include legislation, both national and international, and ethical issues. We have to learn from mistakes that were made in the past. Networking among forensic mental health professionals has to be encouraged. Also we have to be aware of the legal approaches to criminal responsibility of mentally disordered offenders in Europe. These differences in responsibility may hinder the exchange of knowledge and best practices concerning forensic assessment among European forensic psychiatrists and psychologists. But as placement of patients is usually done on treatment needs and the level of dangerousness, and not on the basis of (the degree) of responsibility, mainly in theory, forensic psychiatrists and psychologists should also be aware of new developments in legal systems across Europe, since it affects their daily practice. Forensic psychiatry and psychology increasingly has to deal with questions which fall outside the area of professional expertise. And finally, we cannot practice forensic psychiatry and psychology without the influence of the European Court of Human Rights and the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture.
The editor would like to thank Prof. Dr. P. Taylor, Cardiff University, UK, for her thoughts about research in this chapter.