Identification of Provoked State in Estonian County Court Rulings of 2006-2016

Author:Kristjan Kask, Liisa Tarkus, Alina Harkovskaja
Kristjan Kask Liisa Tarkus Alina Harkovskaja
School of Natural Sciences School of Natural Sciences School of Law
and Health, Tallinn University and Health, Tallinn University University of Tartu
Identi cation of Provoked
State in Estonian County Court
Rulings of 2006–2016
1. Introduction
One of the main questions in forensic psychiatry and psychology related to the legal system is that of issues
surrounding assessment of a defendant’s mental state during commission of the crime.*1 In Estonian legal
literature, there has been debate on engagement of forensic psychology and psychiatry experts in identi -
cation of provoked state.*2 However, the literature has not yet examined how that state is identi ed in the
courts – i.e., to what extent experts are involved. Therefore, this paper has been prepared*3 to investigate
more closely how provoked state is identi ed in the judicial proceedings.
1.1. Provoked state
Sometimes a person cannot su ciently control his or her behaviour because emotion regulation is inhib-
ited. A ect in a very broad sense can be de ned as any emotional reaction to external stimuli.*4 In a nar-
rower sense, a ect is an emotional reaction to stimuli that is so extreme that the person’s self-control is
diminished or completely inhibited.*5 From a legal perspective, this may lead to a question of whether the
above has an e ect on liability in the context of penal law.*6
A. Aadamsoo. Süüdimatuse meditsiinilised tunnused [‘Medical features of incapability of guilt’]. – Juridica /II,
pp.  (in Estonian).
T. Kompus. Emotsionaalsete seisundite hindamine kohtupsühholoogilisel ekspertiisil [‘Evaluating emotional statuses in
forensic-psychology expert assessment’]. – Juridica /II, pp.  (in Estonian); P. Randma. Afekt kui hingelise erutuse
seisund ja ajutine raske psüühikahäire [‘A ect as highly provoked state and temporary severe mental disorder’]. – Juridica
/V, pp.  (in Estonian); J. Saar, P. Pikamäe. Hingelise erutuse seisund. Probleemidest Eesti karistusõiguses ja
kohtupraktikas [‘Highly provoked state: Problems in Estonian penal law and practice’]. – Juridica /IX, pp. 
(in Estonian).
The authors thank Lawrence T. White and Josephine Hirsch from the USA’s Beloit College for their valuable comments
during preparation of the paper and Sandra Kaasik of Tallinn University for assistance in coding the data.
For example, see J. Saar, P. Pikamäe (see Note ).
T. Bachmann. Psühholoogia – raamat juristile [‘Psychology – a Book for the Lawyer’]. Tallinn: Juura , especially
pp. .
P. Randma (see Note ).

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