Pedersen, M. L., Gildberg, F., & Birkeland, S. (2022). The Danish Court Case Database: a data source in forensic mental health? Scandinavian Journal of Forensic Science. Vol.28 – No 1 – 2022- Page 1-5 – doi: 10.2478/sjfs-2022-0011
Abstract: Grey literature complementing evidence from common scientific sources, such as journals, may serve to provide a broader range of evidence, fill in commercial literature gaps and reduce publication bias in research. However, grey literature from legal sources has been used only to a limited extent in forensic mental health research. In this paper, we presented the newly established Danish Court Case Database in the light of forensic mental health. A systematic review was conducted and 15 cases focusing on forensic mental health issues were identified. The cases contained information about indictment, explanations and testimonies and also the court’s decision and underlying reasoning. The different included case types provided a broad range of information about current issues in forensic mental health regulation and the interpretation of Danish law. The database is thus a relevant grey source in forensic research. However, this paper also demonstrated that the database may be improved in terms of its current coverage and ease of use.
Keywords: Alternative search method, criminal cases, database search, Denmark, forensic psychiatry, grey literature, literature review, publication bias, systematic review, unpublished literature