In late January, the RT Supreme Court sentenced a man who raped a girl in September last year. In the process, an examination was carried out and a diagnosis of pedophilia was made.
Ildar Abitov, psychologist, state forensic expert on cases related to the manifestation of extremism, associate professor of the Department of Clinical Psychology and Personality Psychology of IPO KFU, tells about who and how conduct forensic medical examinations, the professional qualities of experts and their role in the trial.
Lawyers and lawyers representing their principals, in their interests, seek the services of a psychologist who could conduct a pre-trial psychological study and give the necessary conclusion.
“You can only become an expert psychologist in court if certain requirements are met: a specialist must have a higher education in a profession, special training in the field of a specialty chosen for work, and certification or certification for an independent psychological examination issued by the Ministry of Justice,” said Ildar Ravilievich.
Turning to a forensic psychologist for help, lawyers and parties to the dispute do not have a clear idea of what needs to be investigated and evaluated as part of a pre-trial or forensic study. Queries often have a defect: they are either not specific or contain the desired result.
- The expert has to explain to customers that, when fulfilling an order for pre-trial or judicial research, the specialist will not adhere to the wishes of the customer, but must strictly follow the law and professional ethics.
- You need to understand what is meant by forensic psychological examination - this is an action regulated by criminal procedure, civil procedure and other codes.
Among the main requirements for expert research are objectivity (conclusions can be proved) and comprehensiveness (human behavior in a legally significant situation should be considered from all sides).
- After conducting a psychological examination, the researcher in conclusion will write conclusions that correspond to the real state of things, conclusions that will be based on the results of diagnostic studies and other expert procedures.
The expert is often asked questions that will allow the investigator or court to obtain the information necessary for an investigation or court decision.
- For example, was the suspect at the time of the actions incriminated to him in a state of affect? What condition was the person who died under unclear circumstances in the period preceding death? (in case of suspicion of suicide). In cases of fraud in the modern "financial pyramids" they present for research video recordings of communication between managers of such organizations with clients and ask about the signs of negative psychological impact on clients.
I.Abitov specified that during the research various methods can be used.
- Despite the fact that the expert himself chooses the methods at his discretion, they should already be used more than once during the examinations, described in the scientific literature, and their diagnosing capabilities should be confirmed by various authors.
Each type of examination, the psychologist shares, has its own difficulties.
- In particular, post-mortem examination examines the products of the deceased's mental activity (diaries, drawings) of the deceased, as well as medical records and testimonies of people who knew him. In this case, the examination is carried out in absentia. There are complex examinations, for example, psychological-psychiatric and psychological-linguistic. A feature of such examinations is the need to work side by side with specialists of a different profile (psychiatrist and linguist). The expert’s conclusions depend on the data obtained during the research process and on the expert’s qualifications.
According to the Associate Professor of IPO KFU, certain ethical principles are applied in the professional activities of a forensic expert.
- You need to have not only knowledge, but also the desire to do this not simple and sometimes dangerous work: in forensic examination there is always a party that will not be satisfied with your expert opinion.
The expert has responsibility for the fate of the client, therefore it is important that the specialist improve his professional skills and abilities and have professional competence.
Summing up, Associate Professor of IPO KFU recalled that the activities of a forensic expert psychologist require from a specialist not only knowledge, but also high moral qualities.
- Equally important in the expert’s work is respect for the rights of the victim (in particular, the right not to answer questions), his honor and dignity, the confidentiality of the information received, as well as the manifestation of independence from judicial investigative bodies, participants in the trial and other experts.