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Reports and Expert Evidence

Reports and expert evidence

Judicial Psychology includes the work of psychologists in all possible areas of law, although those of family and minors stand out above all. Labour law is another area that has been addressed. The fundamental task is psychological expertise, which is the only function permitted by law for psychologists to work for the judicial administration. From private practice, treatment is also given to prepare subjects prior to trials, to train lawyers, etc.

The legislation in force, through the Expert’s Report (sections 610 and ff. of the Law on Civil Procedure -LEC-) states that: “expert evidence may be used when scientific, artistic or practical knowledge is necessary or convenient in order to know or appreciate any fact that may influence the lawsuit.

Psychological evaluation

It consists of obtaining and evaluating the basic data of the intellectual and emotional capacities and abilities that the individual possesses.

For this we apply and evaluate psychological tests or batteries that include the following aspects: intelligence, psychic and emotional structure, culture, interest and skills, work behavior, tendencies to drug and alcohol addictions.

To ensure impartiality (or a more just justice), the intervention of an expert is necessary to express  their scientific knowledge about the case (Art. 610 LEC.)

The judge may request any expert report: “After the hearing or the summons for sentence, and before pronouncing its ruling, the judges and courts may agree, to better provide … (…) Practice any recognition or evaluation they deem necessary, or to expand what has already been done ”. (Art. 340 of the Criminal Procedure Law)

Who are the experts? “Titular experts are those who have an official title of a science or art whose exercise is regulated by the Administration… ”. (Art. 457 LEC).

We understand by psychological expertise “The objective and impartial opinion of a technician or specialist in Psychology who, having a methodology, knowledge and scientific instruments, issues an opinion about the peculiarities or psychological characteristics of a certain conduct or behavior, thereby giving an answer as requested by the authority or judge ”. We say that an “expert” is someone who understands, is a specialist in the field and who uses scientific instruments for analysis and conclusions.


-Cognitive abilities

-volitional abilities

-mental retardation and disorders

-individual characteristics of the personality.

The work of the psychologist is referred to in the jurisdiction of the Civil, of the Criminal, of the Social and also of the Contentious-administrative.

From the Civil jurisdiction, there are innumerable processes in which the work of the psychologist is requested to “better provide”.

-adult guardianship or incapacitation

-cases of request for involuntary psychiatric hospitalization (dementia or serious disorder)

-the protection and custody of children

-marital annulments

-exclusions of parental authority

-valuation of the psychological influence of changes in the parental environment (paternal / maternal) -problems generated by minors in terms of evaluation and proposals for measures regarding reform processes (young offenders) or protection (sexual abuse of girls).

From the criminal jurisdiction, the expert work of the psychologist may be required to evaluate: the responsibility for the acts carried out by a certain type of personality or to define the type and severity of the disorder and its implications of cause and responsibility.

In the context of Labor, the psychologist can intervene in claims or compensation related to professional practice, caused either by psychological consequences of any type of accident (work, traffic) or derived from the same work activity (intoxication, medical malpractice).

In the contentious-administrative sphere, the work of the psychologist is related to everything that has to do with the problems of the Administration and its repercussion with personal psychological problems. The psychological problems (depression) generated by “mobbing” is one of the most representative in the current era.


It appears when one of the parents is criticized, discredited, despised, and even insulted, by their own child in an unjustified or exaggerated way ”.

How does it manifest itself in the child ?: Weak, frivolous or absurd arguments.

· It is observed that the child is “manipulated” by the arguments of the other parent.

· Criticism, contempt or discrediting is extended to the whole family.

· Absence of remorse or guilt.

· There is no dialogue, it is taken for granted.

There are two victims: child (main) and parent (derivative).

When can we predict that, possibly, P.A.S. exists?

· Contact with the parent is prevented by any means (main argument: “because he is not able to take care of the children”).

· Existence of false reports of abuse, mainly of a sexual nature.

· Deterioration of the relationship since the separation. It is important to be able to appreciate when the relationship began to deteriorate so as not to trust only what the children say.

· Fear of the children (argument: “they are afraid of the father”).

Are there severity levels in the P.A.S.?

I. Mild: Visits usually have some difficulty at the time of the change of the parent.

II. Moderate: The alienating parent uses a variety of tactics to exclude the other parent.

III. Severe: Children are generally disturbed and often fanatical (not listening to reason). Their screaming, panic, and outbursts of violence can be such that visiting the other parent may be impossible.

How can we detect an alienating parent?

We can refer to some of the classic behaviours, but it is evident that the variety is all the more extensive and intense the more bitter the relationships are:

· Do not pass the phone calls to the children when the other parent wants to talk to their child.

· Organize activities with the children (go to the cinema, for example,) in the time that they should be with the parent (it corresponds to him due to the visitation regime).

· Control and intercept mail or messages sent by the parent.

· Devalue and insult the parent in front of the children.

· Criticize, devalue, openly the activities of the parent.

· Prevent the parent from exercising their visitation rights.

· “Forget” to notify the parent of important appointments.

· Make important decisions about children without notifying the parent.

· Change, or attempt to change, the childen’s last names or first names.

· Going on vacation without the children, leaving them with someone else, even though the parent may be available and volunteer to take care of them.

· Prohibit them from using toys or gifts purchased by the parent.

· Hold the parent responsible for the children’s misbehaviour.

· Etc.

The use of the child to create a serious problem. The use of children (victims) to achieve the purposes of the parents:

· Brainwashing and manipulation.

· They are suffering psychological and emotional abuse (loyalty problem). Significant and permanent psychological damage. Therapy with child victims of severe parental alienation is often impossible as long as they continue to live in the home of the alienating parent.