The psychiatrist's assessment of criminal responsibility of an accused in court for an act of crime has always been a matter of great difficulty. In 1997, clause 300a was incorporated into the Penal Code of Israel, thereby permitting a more lenient punishment for murder than mandatory life imprisonment. The clause includes the definition of what is meant by "severe mental disorder" and "significantly restricted capacity" by the defendant to understand the criminal nature of his or her act and to refrain from committing it. Usage of the concepts "disorder" and "significantly restricted capacity" in addressing the issue of diminished responsibility of the mentally ill is new to the Israeli legal code. The emergence and evolvement of the above concepts are presented through a historical review of the Israeli encoded law concerning mental illness, analyzed from a psychiatric perspective.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Psychiatry and Mental health