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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Impulse control disorders present unique legal issues for the criminal justice system.

These behaviors require that the courts differentiate an uncontrolled act from an uncontrollable act. Kleptomania is by definition a disorder linked to illegal behaviors, whereas pathological gambling and compulsive sexual behavior are two impulse control disorders that are often associated with illegal activities for some individuals. Can and should a psychiatric disorder be used as a defense for criminal responsibility? This chapter will discuss the legal aspects of certain impulse control disorders and how courts have struggled to understand these complex behaviors from the criminal justice perspective.

Keywords: courts, gambling, impulse control, insanity, law, legal, shoplifting, theft

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