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Buachaill, Lawyer
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10115
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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Medical reports in court

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When a medical report for someone accused of a crime is provided in court to show that there were mitigating circumstances (eg. mental health problems), who actually gets to see the report? Is the report made public and does the jury get to hear it in detail? In my case, a family member has made rather disparaging remarks about other family members (insinuating a dysfunctional family unit) contributing to his mental health problems at the time. This was not the main cause of stress contributing to his crime. If this airing of dirty laundry within a family unit is made public, it would be extremely distressing to the other family members, so I would like to know exactly who gets to see these reports. Thanking you in advance.

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1. At the outset, any such psychiatric report is a public document and will be referred to openly in court by both the barristers & solicitors and the judge in argument. The jury has no function in relation to the psychiatric report as their job is to decide issues of fact, not the effect of a psychiatric report, which role is assigned to the judge. However, as the psychiatric report will be evidence in the case and referred to by the lawyers & judge, there is nothing to prevent either the jury or the persons attending in court from hearing about the contents of the report. Finally, be aware that an application by other members of the family to restrict the contents of the report will not be successful. However, it would be possible to make an application to have parts of the report not referred to openly in court out of sensitivity to the rest of the family members. However, I would advise that this application should be made to the judge before the swearing in of the jury in the case if you do not wish members of the jury to hear about the contents of the report. However, be aware that lawyers for the defendant will probably oppose any application of this nature.
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Buachaill, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 10115
Experience: Barrister 17 years experience
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much.

You are welcome

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