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Abstract

There are several perspectives from which one could analyze the insanity defense and involuntary civil commitment in foreign legal systems. However, the comparative perspective on which this Essay is based focuses on: a) how foreign legal systems formulate and administer the insanity defense; b) how the power of the state is defined to civilly commit mentally ill persons; c) who makes the important decisions and when and how they are made; and d) what happens to offenders who are considered mentally ill and to others who are considered mentally ill and suitable for involuntary commitment.