1Dr. Shadi Hasan A. Ashour

1King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Medical City, Specialty Psychiatric Hospital, Madina, Saudi Arabia


Psychiatric Criminal Responsibility Assessment in most of western countries has been evolved directly or indirectly from McNaghten Rule, that gives always two medical opinions, either the accused is Criminally Responsible or not. While in most of Arabic Countries in addition to some western countries there is a third decision which is called Partial Responsibility or Diminished Responsibility. The emergence of Diminished Responsibility depended mainly on the Mitigating Factors that could be found on some cases. An example of Mitigating Factors is the presence of mild cognitive impairment at the time of Index Offense while the accused was able to appreciate nature and object of the index offense he had committed and was able to appreciate the Consequences and Wrongfulness of his act from Legal and Moral prospective. Mitigating Factors are related to the assessor’s effort during the assessment and are subjected to the defense appreciation. In Saudi Arabian Forensic Psychiatric System It is noticed over the last few years that the decision of Partial Responsibility is dependant primarily to the lack of Forensic Psychiatry Rehabilitation programs including: Huge Forensic Psychiatric Centers with continuous available bed Vacancy, Rehabilitative programs that is integrated with detention centers and Forensic Psychiatry Review Boards. This area of research has been not highlighted before but was noticed during Clinical practice in Forensic Psychiatric Committees. Partial or Diminished Psychiatric Criminal responsibility is considered as a compensatory solution to the lack of Forensic Psychiatry rehabilitative systems. So many referrals of minor Index Offenses which is not present in most of western countries is considered one of the factors that correlated to the presence of Partial responsibility too, and an example of such index offenses is the common cases of “parents ingratitude” where the family accuses their own ill son or daughter with ingratitude to be detained and referred to Psychiatric Hospitals and then treated there. The decision of Diminished Psychiatric Criminal Responsibility is sometimes considered malpractice when it is decided by a non-well trained Forensic Psychiatrists. How to conceptualize the diminished Forensic Psychiatric Responsibility? What will be the future plans to prevent such a kind of a third decision? Canadian Forensic Psychiatric System as an Ideal Model.

Material(s) and Method(s):

Revision and Analysis of all Criminal Responsibility cases that have been referred to the Regional Forensic Psychiatric Committee in Madina for more than 30 years.


Yes, Partial (Diminished) Criminal Responsibility must be one of the major verdicts beside 1- Criminally responsible 2- not criminally responsible.


Yes, Partial (Diminished) Criminal Responsibility must be one of the major verdicts beside 1- Criminally responsible 2- not criminally responsible.

The major mitigating factors that are considered during criminal responsibility Assessment will be:

1- Lack of Forensic Psychiatric Rehabilitation Facilities

2- The nature of Legislative system in Saudi Arabia (Sharee’a).

3- The nature of some sexual crimes.

Canadian or British Forensic Psychiatric System shouldn’t be the absolute ideal model because of such mitigating factors, but they could be the ideal model regarding processing cases, arrangements and applying major rules of Forensic Psychiatry.

Saudi Arabian Legislative System has been built basically and primarily on “SHARE’AH”.

In SHARE’AH, the Verdict of Legal cases is not absolute.

E.G.: Cases of manslaughter: the case can be dismissed by the rights of forgiveness of 1st degree relatives, but the convicted will still be punished by prison sentence by the rights of the country.