Introduction

This chapter provides a scheme for assisting in the analysis of two areas of law that provide some of the general principles that operate in relation to mentally disordered offenders. These two areas are (a) the law concerning decision-making and other action-taking to which the concept of competence is crucial, and (b) the law of responsibility in relation to liability for criminal offences and the tort of negligence. Whilst the focus of the chapter is on the law of England and Wales, it is clear that there are similarities in other common-law jurisdictions, and in other jurisdictions that have borrowed ideas from common-law jurisdiction, such as Japan, in relation to the concept of informed consent.

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