New project: DIMENSIONS

Professor Linda Gröning (Faculty of Law, UiB), LawTransform Affiliate received funding from the Research Council of Norway for the DIMENSIONS project: Remodelling criminal insanity and psychosis through the philosophical, legal and medical dimensions of the medical model.The research grant is 12 mln NOK worth and has a duration of five years.

Through a novel multidimensional approach, DIMENSIONS fuses philosophy, legal research, and mental health research, and sets out to explore the medical model used in Norwegian law to create new knowledge and understanding of criminal insanity and psychosis.

Psychosis is central to the western idea of criminal incapacity, but its legal relevance is unclear and contested. Rules and judgements rely on underdeveloped and invalid assumptions of mental disorders. This produces unequal treatment, stigma and defies the rule of law.

Norway is rare in the world to use a medical model that identifies insanity exclusively with mental disorder, and essentially with psychosis. This model has not been sufficiently explored and may provide paradigm shifting insights of the premises involved in the insanity doctrine. DIMENSIONS will combine a comprehensive philosophical analysis of the medical model with the first multilayered empirical study of legal argumentation about insanity and psychosis and is pioneering in using recent dimensional and transdiagnostic mental health insights to advance the legal understanding of psychosis.

DIMENSIONS has a solid interdisciplinary research team, and is supported by a dedicated advisory committee of world leading scholars to ensure high academic quality and impact. Ultimately DIMENSIONS targets a unified insanity model that is valid across the involved disciplines and that opens new research paths beyond current insanity models.