Competency to stand trial evaluations in Africa

Adjorlolo, Samuel and Boakye, Kofi E. (2021) Competency to stand trial evaluations in Africa. In: The Handbook of Forensic Mental Health in Africa. Routledge, London, UK, pp. 112-123. ISBN 9781003024354

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003024354-7-9

Abstract

Competency to stand trial is an important legal safeguard for persons accused of a crime. Defendants have the right to fully participate in any criminal proceedings that involve them. However, for this right to be realized and to ensure procedural fairness, the legal system must ensure that persons accused of crime are of “sound mind” to stand trial. The very nature of the adversarial system of trial requires that defendants are in a position to assist their attorneys by providing them with relevant information about the case and locating witnesses. When issues of incompetency are suspected, or raised, before or during the trial, the court has a duty to request for evaluation from forensic mental health professionals. The outcome of the evaluation is intended to assist the court to decide whether to proceed with a trial or not. Although competency to stand trial is to ensure due process rights and judicial integrity, it has received little scholarly attention across Africa. This chapter will examine competency to stand trial in jurisdictions across Africa.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Faculty: Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2021 15:07
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2021 15:28
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/706768

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