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Documenting the Document: The Forensic Hospital Report and Its Knowledge Moves

King, Tyler J, Shaw, Joshua D.M., Kennedy, Liam (2023) Documenting the Document: The Forensic Hospital Report and Its Knowledge Moves. Social & Legal Studies, . ISSN 0964-6639. (doi:10.1177/09646639231187093) (KAR id:102925)


Drawing on case files from a Canadian provincial review board tasked with determining the disposition of persons found ‘not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder’, we explore the role of the forensic hospital report in the production of medico-legal risk knowledges. Through a detailed case study, we show how the report's content and particular material form allow the Board to produce the ‘significantly threatening individual’ – the very thing the Board (and report) are meant to presuppose. We therefore call on scholars to document their documents, and, in the spirit of actor-network theory (ANT), to analytically treat socio-legal objects as active participants in knowledge's creation. By accounting for the ‘knowledge moves’ the hospital report might allow, encourage, or prohibit human actors to make, we hope even ANT sceptics can use these tools to better understand various legal decision-making processes and their effects.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/09646639231187093
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
K Law
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Joshua Shaw
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2023 21:42 UTC
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2023 11:59 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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