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Master Thesis

Psychiatrie et droit pénal : discernement ou contrôle des actes, un dilemme médico-légal ? Analyse de la littérature professionnelle et de la position d'un échantillon d'experts psychiatres

Abstract : Discernment and control over acts notions are introduced in Article 122-1 of the French Penal Code concerning the criminal responsibility of mentally ill persons. There seems to be a predominant use of discernment in the specialized literature over control over acts. This work aims to test the hypothesis of an asymmetrical use between these two terms and to explore its reasons. The occurrence of discernment and control over acts was compared in a corpus of 35 specialized publications. A survey questionnaire exploring the preferential use of these two concepts was sent to 265 French experts. We interviewed 9 expert psychiatrists, through semi-structured interviews. The occurrence of discernment is 3.2 times more frequent than control over acts in the corpus of forensic literature. 34.4% (n = 22) of the 64 experts responding to the questionnaire said they used the concept of discernment preferentially,1.6% (n = 1) the concept of control over acts, and 64.1% (n = 41) of them used the two concepts in an equivalent way. The qualitative study revealed that the concept of discernment has a consensual definition and properly suits to psychiatric examination. However the notion of control over acts remains unclear. The ambiguity around the concept of control over acts is a reality, both on the conceptual and clinical level. This helps to explain the asymmetrical of use between discernment and control over acts. It seems appropriate to refer preferentially to the notion of discernment in situations of psychiatric expertise.
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Master Thesis
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https://dumas.ccsd.cnrs.fr/dumas-01082093
Contributor : Jean-Hugues Morneau <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 3:37:07 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, July 15, 2020 - 8:58:04 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, April 14, 2017 - 3:40:19 PM

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  • HAL Id : dumas-01082093, version 1

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Benjamin Godechot. Psychiatrie et droit pénal : discernement ou contrôle des actes, un dilemme médico-légal ? Analyse de la littérature professionnelle et de la position d'un échantillon d'experts psychiatres. Médecine humaine et pathologie. 2014. ⟨dumas-01082093⟩

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