Related Sector: Expert Witness, Witness Familiarisation
NATIONAL ANNUAL EXPERT WITNESS SURVEY 2016
This is the first joint Expert Witness survey conducted by Bond Solon, the UK’s leading Expert Witness training company in association with The Times newspaper.
Over 750 expert witnesses completed the survey making it one of the largest expert witness survey ever undertaken within the UK.
Read today’s Times article on some of the findings from the survey.
Full details and analysis of the 2016 survey will be available soon to download.
The article was first published in The Times (www.thetimes.co.uk) on 3rd November 2016 and is reproduced by kind permission.
John Lambert - Owner, John Lambert and Associates
06 Nov 2016 21:48
In Australia (based on my 16 years as an expert witness) the issues that mean our legal system does not give justice in order of importance are:
1. Cost in higher courts - only large corporations and the rich can afford to go to court, or those who can get legal aid;
2. Time cost in Magistrates Court (lowest court) - for a traffic matter its a minimum of three attendances = three mornings. Cost in lost wages or earnings much greater than the fines which are typically in the range of $200 - $600. Hence people pay even when they are innocent;
3. Legal privilege for barristers - they can say anything they like in court and cannot be sued. The win at any cost barristers do anything they can to smear / "destroy" normal citizens expecting justice. And they can apply to have an expert disallowed without the expert having any input;
4. lawyers providing experts with incomplete/ "doctored" briefs in order to generate an expert report with the outcome desired. The Expert can only utilise the materials supplied so leaving out an important document can change a lot;
5. Experts being engaged who do not have the expertise to justify them being called experts in the particular field; and
6. Then "guns for hire" experts. Not limited to individuals with low professional standing. Can include people with very high standing.
Luke Vermeulen - Director of Field Operations
07 Nov 2016 14:33
I am a building envelope consultant from across the pond. I found it to be an interesting article, in that how similar some of the concerns are within our legal system and the use and/or abuse of expert witnesses and their testimony.
While I understand that many experts feel that jurors might not be "equipped" to understand "scientific evidence," oft times, neither is a judge. Doesn't, by it's nature, the pursuit of justice task us as experts, to be able to deconstruct the circumstances of the science, so that the common juror can understand it? Or could we be being too aristocratic, expecting that the laurels proclaimed in ones "Curriculum Vitae" will be what carries the day?
To be able to be judged by ones peers is a corner stone of a true justice system. So if we, as "experts," can not bridge what sometimes appears to be a chasm of undesirability, of what use is our knowledge being interjected into the situation in the first place?
As to the "hired gun" situation: Part of my job, as an opposing expert, is to debunk said charlatan's reasoning. Meaning that I must be able to better lead the jurist (be it commoner or judge) to what the truth is. Often by addressing the fallacies and inadequacies, of said hired gun's weaponry.
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