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Title: How do judges incorporate psychological expertise in civil trials and judgements?
Authors: Camilleri, Maria (2020)
Keywords: Civil procedure
Civil procedure -- Malta
Forensic psychology
Forensic psychology -- Malta
Evidence, Expert
Evidence, Expert -- Malta
Issue Date: 2020
Citation: Camilleri, M. (2020). How do judges incorporate psychological expertise in civil trials and judgements? (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: The work presents a legislative, theoretical and practical examination of the research question from a national and international perspective. Firstly, foreign literature on the role of psychological experts in civil courts was consulted. This revealed lack of research material on the role of psychotherapists, as well as general absence of data on the role of psychological experts in the Maltese legal system. A three-pronged methodological framework was adopted, to investigate how Judges incorporate psychological expertise in civil trials and judgements, in the local context. This was achieved through; a comparative procedural law exercise, wherein the procedural rules of the UK, Italy and Malta on the role of the expert were discussed; a questionnaire conducted amongst Maltese lawyers, which enquired on their opinions on the use of psychological expertise in Maltese courts; and through a jurisprudential analysis of Maltese civil law judgements featuring psychological expertise. From the above-described research methods, it was established that Judges in Malta deal with psychological experts in a way which on the one hand clearly subordinates them and their findings to judicial authority and on the other avoids making a very clear distinction between the roles of court-appointed and ex parte expert witness. This reflects a mixture of Adversarial and Inquisitorial Principles which the Judge is left to navigate largely without the guidance of detailed regulations on the appointment of experts and how their reports should be structured. The resulting system turns upon judicial discretionary authority, resulting in idiosyncratic approaches which vary from one case to another and do not make much distinction between various kinds of psychological expertise.
Description: M.A.LAW
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - MA - FacLaw - 2020

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