Elementi di neuropsicologia forense. Sezione II. Profili penali sostanzialistici

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Elements of forensic neuropsychology. Section II. Substantive criminal profiles

Marta Bertolino

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


[Autom. eng. transl.] The investigation deals with the issue of criminal imputability, which the Rocco Code of 1930 in art. 85 expresses with the formula of the capacity to understand and to want, as a psycho-physical maturity normally present in the adult person, which implies the possibility of discernment and of choice among the multiple reasons that from time to time supervise human action. The definition of imputability contained in art. 85 of the Italian Criminal Code, however, can only be fully understood by referring to the causes that are valid to exclude it or to reduce it. Among them, the study pays special attention to the total or partial defect of mind, according to the different degree of incidence of the disorder on the psyche of the acting subject. The theme of mental illness is illustrated through the recall of the profound and articulated evolutionary process that the same has undergone by psychopathological science, starting from the traditional notion offered by the so-called medical paradigm and subsequently by the psychological one, up to the elaboration of the most recent scientific paradigms such as diagnostic-symptomatological and neuroscience. In terms of concrete assessment, the study highlights how the nature of mental disorders and their influence on the subject's intellectual and volitional capacities have made collaboration between the judge and the expert more problematic. On the one hand, the psychopathological expertise, which represents an irreplaceable technical aid instrument for the judge, is at the center of a heated debate among forensic psychiatrists about the scientific requirements that determine their reliability. The judge, on the other hand, cannot delegate the decision on imputability to the psychiatrist, relying uncritically on his conclusions, but neither can he be forced to check the scientific validity of the criteria and methods of investigation used by the expert. The methodological indication that A. proposes to the outcome of its investigation is that for which the judges gradually acquire the ability to become "critical consumers" of the existing science, making use of their own discretionary power to evaluate the evidence, to arrive at a decision "beyond the reasonable doubt".
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Elements of forensic neuropsychology. Section II. Substantive criminal profiles
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationManuale di neuropsicologia
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Imputabilità penale
  • Infermità di mente
  • Mental illness
  • Perizia psicopatologica
  • Scientific evidence


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