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 Table of Contents    
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 113
Forensic Psychiatry (Psychiatry and Law)

President 2014, Indian Psychiatric Society, Zone 16 Representative (2014-2017), World Psychiatric Association

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication7-Jan-2015

How to cite this article:
Asokan T V. Forensic Psychiatry (Psychiatry and Law). Indian J Psychiatry 2015;57:113

How to cite this URL:
Asokan T V. Forensic Psychiatry (Psychiatry and Law). Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2015 [cited 2021 Jan 16];57:113. Available from:

Author: Dr. S. Nambi
Published In: 2014
Publisher: Jaypee Brothers, New Delhi
Price: ₹ 595/-
ISBN In: 9789350906255

The book titled as "Forensic Psychiatry" (Psychiatry and Law) by Prof. Nambi encapsulates Forensic and Psychiatric concepts. Forensic psychiatry is the branch of psychiatry that deals with issues arising in the interface between psychiatry and the law, and with the flow of mentally disordered offenders along a continuum of social systems.

Seymor Pollack construed forensic psychiatry as limited to psychiatric evaluations for legal purposes and described it as a "broad general field in which psychiatric theories, concepts, principles, and practices are applied to any and all legal issues". The history of forensic psychiatry is often conceived of as "the entrance of medicine into court," or even a "medicalization of law."

Forensic Psychiatrist has to substantiate and prove the basis for his opinions, differentiate between what he sincerely believes and what he can demonstrate, and distinguish the hard data and the meta psychological theories that purport to explain the data.

The need to establish a sophisticated forensic mental health system is the result of the global trend of deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill. Prof. Nambi, a pioneer in the milieu of Indian Forensic Psychiatry had dwelled in depth in the interrelated facets of forensic Psychiatry., Modern forensic psychiatry has benefited from four key developments: (1) Appreciation of the relationship between mental illness and criminality; (2) legal tests to define legal insanity; (3) new methodologies of the therapeutic process and provision of alternatives to custodial care and (4) attitudinal changes and perceptions of mental illness among the public. Worldwide, a wider understanding of the relationship between mental states and crime has led to an increased utilization of forensic experts in courts of law at different levels of legal action.

Prof. Nambi justified the above with 31 chapters and 11 annexures. Due to its dual role in medicine and in law, Forensic Psychiatry is fraught with ethical dilemmas and this issue is incontestably discussed in chapter 3.

The unabridged version of Mental Health Legislation in chapter 4 is very illuminative. The concatenated nature of Crime and mental illness, the Paramountcy of Prison Psychiatry, matrimonial issues related to mental illnesses, legal issues of different age groups, issues related to domestic violence and substance abuse are estimable from the academic point of view. The most propitious aspect is annexure 3 with specimen certificates which will be very useful for the practicing Psychiatrist.

There are only 50 articles on Forensic Psychiatry published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry during the last 50 years and in the educational milieu, postgraduates receive little or no experience of using mental health related acts. There is a wide gap between clinical Psychiatry and forensic health system. This book with its comprehensive outlook on various legal issues would unravel all the misconceptions harbored in this milieu. This is the first book on Legal Psychiatry with the latest concepts and laws and addresses issues with reference to Indian context.

In nutshell, this book "Forensic Psychiatry" by Prof. S. Nambi is an academic thesaurus for the students, a legal guide for the practicing Psychiatrist and a reference book for legal professionals.

Correspondence Address:
T V Asokan
President 2014, Indian Psychiatric Society, Zone 16 Representative (2014-2017), World Psychiatric Association

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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