Inspite of the notorious nature of these concepts (criminal responsibility and the defense of insanity) in our legal system, many lawyers still do not know the right steps to take in the
institution of the insanity defense in a law suit. On the other hand, most judges do not know what to look out for when such defense is claimed.
It has been observed that most persons who commit crime do so in all mental knowledge of their actions and when they are apprehended, they hide behind the veil of mental disorder or the influence of alcohol in order to escape the Justice of the law. This leads to a difficulty in drawing the line between “the responsible” and “the not responsible” by Judges. Consequently, insanity defense fail to nail the culprits, thereby, letting them back into the society to cause great havoc.
Objectives of the Study of criminal responsibility
This long essay is a very elaborate and important one which seeks to achieve the following:
- To critically analyze and appraise the concept of criminal responsibility and the defense of in the Nigerian legal system.
- To show the fundamentality of the knowledge of the aforementioned concept in the Nigerian legal system.
- To help in the understanding of the concepts and how they operate under the Nigerian legal system.
- To highlight and discuss the various categories of insanity.
- To highlight and discuss other related defenses similar to insanity.
- To further show the standard of the proof of insanity under the Nigerian legal system.
- To bring to the fore how those concept operate in other jurisdictions.
- To show the similarities and difference of the operation of these concepts within the Nigerian legal system and other legal system.
- These research works will also proffer possible recommendations that may help to reduce the problems related to the application of this concept.
This long essay seeks to answer the following question:
- What is criminal responsibility?
- What is the defense of insanity?
- How do these concepts operate under the Nigerian legal system?
- What is the importance or their knowledge to the Nigerian legal system?
- What are the different categories of insanity?
- What is the relationship between the Nigerian concept of criminal responsibility and defense of insanity and that of other jurisdiction?
Scope of the Study
The geographical scope of this study will be mainly the country Nigeria. But the jurisdiction of some other countries such as Britain, America and Canada will be looked into to see the similarities and differences of the application of these concepts between their jurisdiction and that of Nigeria.
In terms of the subject matter of the long essay, the scope shall basically concern the concept of criminal responsibility and the defense of insanity in the Nigerian jurisdiction. However, the research on these concepts cannot be treated in isolation; therefore, references may be made of other aspects of law from time to time to drive home our point.