Current Issues of Law and Psychiatry in Japan

Mr Hiroshi Ihara (PhD student, Psychiatry, Robinson College),
Mr Eiji Yamahara (ex-LLM student, Lawyer)

Saturday, 12 July, 1997; 7:00-9:00 pm

Seminar room, Darwin College

Several issues in regard to the forensic aspects of psychiatry in Japan will be discussed from a psychiatrist's point of view (H.I.) and a lawyer's perspective (E.Y.). The recent court's judgement on the serial murderer, Case M. will be featured as a news item for an introduction. For his trial three psychiatric reports were submitted, each of which expressed different diagnostic opinions. The report adopted by the judge maintained the full criminal responsibility of the accused. Considering this case, the rationale for psychiatric defences to criminal charge will be argued, particularly with its relation to cognitive capacities and self-control. Comparative surveys between Britain and Japan will be made as to the received wisdom on mental elements in crime, medico-legal systems, mental health service and social milieu of the mentally ill offenders, and mental health legislation.