Residential mental health assessment within Dutch criminal cases: A discussion

JBJ van der Leij*, JL Jackson, M Malsch, JF Nijboer

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    In Dutch criminal cases in which doubts arise about the defendant's mental health, a forensic assessment will be requested. This is provided either by the multidisciplinary staff of residential clinics who conduct forensic evaluations for the court, or by mental health professionals contracted on a part-time basis by district courts. This article discusses the procedures applied in such cases as well as the relevant legal provisions. It focuses particularly on the clinical observation, evaluation, and reporting that is carried out over a number of weeks in the residential setting of the Pieter Baan Centrum. Specific attention is paid to procedures applied in this clinic. It is suggested that Dutch procedures for the use of mental health expertise can best be characterized by three aspects: multidisciplinary observation and reporting, the use of a sliding scale for indicating degree of responsibility, and, finally, the involvement and payment of experts by the state as such, rather than by the prosecution and for the defense. (C) Copyright 2001 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)691-702
    Number of pages12
    JournalBehavioral Sciences & the Law
    Issue number5-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

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