The quest for a responsible responsibility test: Norwegian insanity law after Breivik

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Abstract

The Breivik case in Norway has motivated a reassessment of Norwegian insanity law by the Norwegian government. Because Norway since 2002 has utilized a ‘‘medical model’’ for legal insanity—a model according to which the legal excuse of insanity is identified with some medical concept such as psychosis—the Norwegian reexamination of its law is not without interest throughout the world. In this paper, I utilize the Anglo-American experience with different medical models for insanity to assess the current Norwegian law on insanity. I defend a strong version of the medical model against standard criticisms advanced against it in the Anglo-American literature, and venture some suggested improvements in how that model was applied in the Breivik case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-693
Number of pages49
JournalCriminal Law and Philosophy
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Breivik
  • Insanity
  • Medical disorder
  • Medical model
  • Mental illness
  • Psychosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Law

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