Forensic Psychiatric Assessments across Australia
The term ‘forensic’ derives from the Latin forensic, meaning “of the forum”. The ‘forum’ in Ancient Rome was the place within the city walls where, amongst other things, matters of dispute were resolved. In contemporary society, matters of dispute sometimes need to be resolved by Courts or Tribunals. In such circumstances, where issues of mental disorder are of potential relevance, forensic psychiatrists can play an important role in assisting the Court or Tribunal to settle a dispute in an appropriate manner.
A forensic psychiatrist is trained as a medical practitioner and then completes higher training as a psychiatrist, obtaining an appropriate qualification such as the FRANZCP or the MRCPsych. Specific expertise in forensic psychiatry is obtained through further subspecialty training and appropriate postgraduate psychiatric education.
Forensic training equips the psychiatrist to better understand the distinction between usual therapeutic roles and the forensic or occupational expert role. It also equips the forensic psychiatrist with particular skills in assessment, formulation and communication of expert opinions in medicolegal contexts.
An experienced Melbourne professional performing psychiatric assessments
Dr Carroll carried out his training in forensic psychiatry in the UK and Melbourne, Australia. His ethical stance with respect to forensic psychiatry is that independence and objectivity can best be achieved by making clear distinctions between the role of a treating psychiatrist and an assessing forensic psychiatrist. He does not give medicolegal opinions on patients whom he treats and draws a clear distinction between treating doctors’ reports and forensic reports. He believes that this distinction is necessary in order to best assist the trier of fact (Court or Tribunal) with respect to the issues at hand. In this way, forensic psychiatric reports can be of most value to both the Courts/Tribunal and in turn to the referring party. A clear track record of objectivity and frank and fearless opinion, irrespective of the retaining party, is crucial to maintaining the value of forensic psychiatrists’ opinions.
Book a psychiatric assessment
If you wish to discuss a possible referral, Dr Carroll is readily available for a telephone discussion. For more information or to book an assessment in Melbourne or wider Australia, please contact our staff by calling (03) 8592 7959, or via email at email@example.com, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Dr Carroll is available to conduct assessments in a range of areas including mental impairment assessments, fitness to stand trial assessments, presentence reports, psychiatric impairment assessments and occupational psychiatry assessments (such as fitness to practice).