It is not unusual to be assessed by a Clinical Psychologist as part of a criminal case or personal injury claim. Your solicitor (or another solicitor) can formally ask for this to take place and request that the Clinical Psychologist assesses particular aspects of your situation and answers particular questions e.g. whether you have psychological difficulties, what these are and whether they are likely to change/improve. In these cases, the Clinical Psychologist will be referred to as an ‘expert’ and will have a duty to the court to provide evidence which is fair and unbiased. It is common for you to discuss this with your solicitor before being assessed so that you understand what the Clinical Psychologist is being asked to assess you for.
Clinical psychologists are trained to provide both written and oral evidence to the courts across a range of conditions and different legal contexts. We receive instructions from solicitors often raising specific questions regarding an individual or family and use a range of assessment approaches/techniques.
These include clinical interview, formal cognitive assessment and use of other psychometric measures to assess psychological functioning.