Related Sector: Expert Witness

In November the Lord Chief Justice handed down the second amendment to the Criminal Practice Directions 2015. This amendment adds new practice directions at 19B and 19C dealing with expert evidence.

You will find these at: (pages 11-15)

Criminal Practice Direction V Evidence 19B (pages 11-13) - relates to statements of understanding and declarations of truth in expert reports. It includes the following instruction:

The statement and declaration required by CrimPR 19.4(j), (k) should be in the following terms, or in terms substantially the same…  

In Bond Solon’s view this is mandatory language. The statement of understanding comprises of 14 points. Please note Point 14 is for Experts instructed by the Prosecution only.

Criminal Practice Direction V Evidence 19C (pages 13-15) - relates to pre-hearing discussion of expert evidence.

Under CrimPR 19.6 such pre-trial discussions are not compulsory unless directed by the court. However, such a direction is listed in the magistrates’ courts Preparation for Effective Trial form and in the Crown Court Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing form as one to be given by default, and therefore the court can be expected to give such a direction in every case unless persuaded otherwise. This Practice Direction sets out the purpose of discussions between experts and how such discussions are to be conducted and recorded.

All Experts, whether as part of their practice or as candidates who are currently undertaking the Cardiff University Law School Bond Solon Criminal Expert Certificate should comply with these amendments.

If you are interested in attending training relating to criminal expert law and procedure, we have public courses running in London on 15 and 16 December 2016, and 18 and 19 May 2017. To book or for further information please contact us on 0207 549 2549 or email

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