The Sydney Lindt Café Siege: the role of the consultant psychiatrist

Thursday 13 November, 2019
6.00pm for a 6.30pm start

The Lion Hotel
161 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide

After the Lindt café siege in Sydney in 2014, the NSW Coroner concluded that although he did not have a mental illness, the Iranian-born gunman Man Haron Monis had become ‘radicalised’ and committed a ‘terrorist act.’ In his findings, the NSW Coroner was highly critical of the psychiatrist who advised and supported the police negotiators throughout the siege.

However, most of the assumptions made by the NSW Coroner can be questioned and his criticism of the psychiatrist was misplaced and ill-informed and overstated the psychiatrist’s influence on the negotiation strategy adopted by the police.

The Coroner’s disparagement of the psychiatrist who considered all the information known about Monis and developed a sophisticated formulation may have the unintended consequence that psychiatrists may be reluctant to assist police and security agencies in hostage-sieges or other critical incidents.

Dr Russ Scott, Forensic Psychiatrist to the Prison Mental Health Service, Quensland.

Dr Scott has a degree in Medicine and Surgery (University of Queensland) and a Masters of Law (Queensland University of Technology). He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and was the first psychiatrist to obtain accreditation as a forensic psychiatrist in Australia and New Zealand.

Dr Scott was the consultant to the acute female inpatient unit of Thomas Embling Hospital in Victoria before he became the consultant to the acute male inpatient unit at High Security Inpatient Services at The Park – Centre for Mental Health, Wolston Park, Brisbane.

Between 2008 – 2011, Dr Scott was the medical issues section editor of the Journal of Law and Medicine and continues to be a regular contributor to the Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Australasian Psychiatry and Psychiatry, Psychology and Law. Dr Scott is currently a consultant psychiatrist to the Prison Mental Health Service, Queensland Health and honorary secretary of the Queensland Branch of ANZAPPL.

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