The psychopathic offender

Abd Elrahman, Mahmoud Abd Elwahab (1983) The psychopathic offender. LL.M(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Psychopathy is a subject which is now being duscussed with increasing interest in forensic psychiatry, criminology and sociological circles. The aim of this thesis is to show that the problem of the so-called psychopath is not the province of psychiatrists. The reason for this is that the psychiatric approach ignores any social or ethical factors in its approach to this behavioural problem. The writer attempted to prove that social and environmental factors are the most crucial in determining the condition. In an attempt to rebut the alleged plausibility of the medico-scientific explanation of this phenomenon, the writer produced evidence from various sources in an attempt to show that psychopathy stems from inadequate upbringing rather than heredity, brain damage or disease. As far as the legal position of psychopaths is concerned the law (in Scotland and England) seldom regards those individuals as mentally abnormal. In the writer's opinion the side effect of adopting a relative concept such as abnormality, explaining psychopathic behaviour, is hazardous and may lead to the use of the legal system itself to produce real injustice and social harm. The question of responsibility was also dealt with. It was noted that there is no chance for psychopaths to benefit from the plea of insanity either in England or in Scotland. Under English law a diagnosis of psychopathy is recognised by the courts as an acceptable basis for a defence of diminished responsibility in many of the cited cases. In Scotland the courts denied the application of the doctrine to psychopaths. For this reason the legal position of psychopaths in England and Scotland is dealt with separately in the text.

Item Type: Thesis (LL.M(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: S AM Mclean
Keywords: Clinical psychology
Date of Award: 1983
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1983-73371
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 08:56

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