Evolution of the Institution of Insanity in English Law



The article studies the genesis and evolution of the insanity institute in the English law using historical and legal as well as comparative and legal methodologies. Special focus is given to the psychological and legal aspects of insanity. The material is presented in the habitual way to the Russian reader, i.e. didactically, all the distinctive features of the following are preserved: statutory and case law, English criminal psychology and forensic psychiatry. On the basis of exploring foreign and Russian scientific publications on criminal law and legal psychology the analysis of the milestones in development of the insanity institute is done. Critical reflection was employed upon the psychological and judicial doctrines, statutes and precedents that legislate certain aspects of insanity. The article analyses the "non compos mentis" rule, “wild-beast-test”, McNathan's Rules, Caldwell's test as well as the legislative acts regulating particular aspects of insanity. Some of the precedents and doctrinal provisions of the English law have never been translated into Russian and are introduced into the scientific circulation for the first time.

General Information

Keywords: insanity, English law, judicial precedent, Mc Nathan's Rules, mens rea, mental illness, insanity doctrine

Journal rubric: History of Legal Psychology

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/psylaw.2021110312

For citation: Malinovskiy A.A. Evolution of the Institution of Insanity in English Law [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologiya i pravo = Psychology and Law, 2021. Vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 175–186. DOI: 10.17759/psylaw.2021110312. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Alexey A. Malinovskiy, Doctor of Law, Professor, заведующийHead of Chair of Theory of Law and Comparative Law, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University), Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2376-0956, e-mail: dr.malinovsky@yandex.ru



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