News Headlines

December 2018- Exposure of a bad witness. How to expose the bad expert? For the expert his reputation is his most precious asset.Read more 

-Solicitor struck off after trying to influence medical expert. A personal injury solicitor who “improperly attempted” to influence a doctor by turning up to a medical examination of his client in the role of translator has been struck off. Read more

- The Expert Witness Institute Annual Conference 2018 was recently covered in the Barrister Magazine 11th January - 17th April 2019 Issue. On judicial scrutiny of expert evidence and those seven deadly sins: Lessons noted and learned at the 2018 Expert Witness Institute Conference. Read more 

- HM Treasury has confirmed that expert witnesses do not fall within the scope of the Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018. Expert witnesses providing evidence are excluded from the definition of claims management activity by a provision in the Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018. The relevant provision is at section 27(11) of the Act which inserts a new section 419A into FSMA 2000: 419AClaims management services

(1)In this Act “claims management services” means advice or other services in relation to the making of a claim.
(2)In subsection (1) “other services” includes—
(a)financial services or assistance,
(b)legal representation,
(c)referring or introducing one person to another, and
(d)making inquiries,

but giving, or preparing to give, evidence (whether or not expert evidence) is not, by itself, a claims management service.

November 2018 - 1. The November 2018 issue of the Forensic Science Regulator’s Newsletter (issue 30) has now been published and can be found here

October 2018 - CRYPTO: Unchained but Regulated Commonwealth Chair Malta introduces new Blockchain laws and launches the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA) Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act (MDIA Act). Dr Stephen Castell CITP CPhys FIMA MEWI MIoD in conversation with James Bowater at the Malta Delta Summit, 03-05 October 2018. Read more here

August 2018 - Paediatricians as Expert Witnesses in the Family Courts in England and Wales: Standards, competencies and expectations. Read more here 

June 2018 - On 27 June The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) and the Expert Witness Institute (EWI) came together in the creation of a joint venture agreement marking the start of joint activities between these two lead organisations in dispute resolution. Read more here

April 2018 - On 4 April 2005 s.127 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 came into force. It applies to expert evidence in criminal proceedings and only such proceedings (T. Hodgkinson & M. James, Expert Evidence: Law and Practice 4th Ed, 10-015). Read more here

6 Feb 2018 - Christine Scott takes the helm at the Expert Witness Institute Read story on New Law Journal 

8 Dec 2017 - Expert witnesses who claim parents have been wrongly accused have been vilified and struck off. But the science is anything but certain. What happens to the truth when experts can’t agree? Read story on The Guardian

16 Oct 2017- From the Forensic Science Regulator  -
Guidance on the content of reports issued by expert witnesses in the Criminal Justice System in England and Wales.  See the guidance

9 Oct 2017 - Middle Temple Guest Lecture from Lord Hodge, Justice of the Supreme Court
'Expert Evidence: use, abuse, and boundaries' Full speech

21 Feb 2017 - Experts and their evidence are under hostile scrutiny amid fears over a decline in standards, reports Grania Langdon-Down. Includes a quote from EWI governor Amanda Stevens. read story 

14 Feb 2017 - Court of Appeal criticises expert who failed to disclose 'close connection with defendant' - read story

11 Jan 2017 - Singapore's status as legal hub boosted by changes to law / Read story

10 Jan 2017 - Forensic Science Regulator Annual Report Download report 

16 Nov 2016 - Criminal Practice Directions 2015 Amendment No. 2 
There has been an amendment to the Criminal Practice Directions 2015 [2016] EWCA Crim 97. It was handed down by the Lord Chief Justice and comes into force with immediate effect. Link to the amendment.

2 Nov 2016 - Expert witnesses 'chasing' solicitors for late payment
Just one in 10 expert witnesses say they are paid on time by solicitors who have commissioned them. A survey of 154 members of the Expert Witness Institute found late payment is an increasing problem with law firms. Read story on The Law Society Gazette

17 Oct 2016 - Out now: The Good Practice in Civil Judicial Expertise in the European Union, edited by Béatrice Deshayes, Philippe Jacquemin. The European Expertise and Expert Institute pursues, among its objectives, the identification of possible convergences of national judicial expertise systems and proposes developments to improve the quality of judicial expertise carried out in Europe.  Download booking form

16 Sept 2016 -  The Lord Chancellor, Lord Chief Justice, and the Senior President of Tribunals have published a joint statement, Transforming Our Justice System, on their shared vision for the future of HM Courts & Tribunals Service Download 

15 Aug 2016 - Latest issue of Forensic Science Regulator's Newsletter:  issue No 28. Download 

1 Aug 2016 - The Civil Justice Council has published a report on concurrent expert evidence and hot-tubbing, and its use in English litigation. The report was produced by a working group which included EWI Governors Mr Roger Clements and Mr Chris Easton, under the chairmanship of Professor Rachael Mulheron, and with Maura McIntosh as deputy chair.  Download report

July 2016 - New guidance from the Forensic Science Regulator website 

- The interim DNA anti-contamination guidance for sexual assault referral centres and custodial facilities has now been published. Download guidance 

- The DNA anti-contamination guidance for crime scene examination involving DNA evidence recovery was published on 12 July 2016. Download guidance 

8 June 2016 - Case dismissed against author of damning expert witness report. A disciplinary panel has dismissed allegations against the author of a damning study on the quality of expert witnesses in the family courts which had raised questions over the conduct of her research. Read story

19 Apr 2016 - Suing professionals: early expert evidence makes a litigant healthy, wealthy and wise The importance of expert witnesses in claims for professional negligence.

18 Apr 2016 - 10 things you need to know about expert evidence by Eversheds. The requirement for expert evidence is almost taken for granted in construction and engineering disputes.

31 Mar 2016 - Forensic image comparison and interpretation evidence: issue 2 Guidance for investigators and prosecutors on image analysis.

10 Feb 2016 - New Judgment: Kennedy v Cordia (Services) LLP (Scotland) [2016] UKSC 6 
Supreme Court guidance on admissibility and use of Expert Evidence 

17 Dec 2015 - Understanding the processes for commissioning experts and the contribution they make to the family court The Use of Experts in Family Law 
By the Ministry of Justice

Nov 2015 - £10m award to establish Leverhulme Centre for Forensic Science at Dundee
The University of Dundee has been granted a £10million award by the Leverhulme Trust to establish a Research Centre for Forensic Science aimed at shaping the future of the subject and ensuring it remains a vital component of the criminal justice system.

23 Nov 2015 - The guide to good practices in civil judicial expertise in the European Union 
European Guide for Legal Expertise

9 Nov 2015 - MPs call for review on LASPO
MPs have called for a review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO).

14 Oct 2015 - Science in court: Courage of conviction. Interview with EWI Governor Allen Hirson by Virginia Gewin. Expert witnesses have a crucial role in bringing science into the legal system — but the job is not without pressure. 

Sept 2015 - 
Giving Evidence in Court by The Expert Witness Survival Guide - Mr. Michael Saab 

So what is an Expert witness? In the Medico legal world this will be a doctor, nurse or other professional who is suitably qualified and experience and who will not have been involved in the examination of the victim or suspect.

8 May 2015 - Djanogly: Justice supports business

28 April 2015-

Forensics in Crisis - BBC Radio 4

There is a growing sense of crisis inside the world of forensic science. Recent high profile cases such as Jill Dando and Amanda Knox have highlighted serious problems with the way testing is carried out.

23 Apr 2015 - FBI admits flaws in hair analysis over decades 
The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.

4 Apr 2015 - 
Guidance on the Remuneration of Expert Witnesses From the Legal Aid Agency

Jan 2015 - Forensic Science Regulators latest newsletter is now available Forensic Science Regulator newsletters cover issues of interest and relevance to forensic science practitioners.

Feb 2015 - Crown Prosecution Service: Guidance on Expert Evidence  Expert evidence can be used to assist the court in determining the issues in a case where it is relevant and where the opinion of an expert is needed to give the court a greater understanding of those issues. This guidance is intended to give prosecutors practical guidance on issues relating to the prosecution and defence experts as they arise during the life of a case.

24 Aug 2014 - Rafed Al Khorafi and Others v Bank Sarasin-Alpen (ME) Ltd and Bank Sarasin & Co Ltd In a ruling with broad consequences for the international investment community, the Dubai International Financial Centre (‘DIFC’) Court has ordered Switzerland’s Bank Sarasin and its affiliate to pay compensatory damages to the family of Kuwaiti businessman Rafed Al Khorafi for the sale of inappropriate structured real estate-, commodity-backed and equity sector basket instruments in late 2007- early 2008.

9 Jun 2014 - Direct Examination of the Expert Witness
Examination in Chief or Direct Examination is where your instructing solicitor’s counsel first has the opportunity to ask the expert witness questions.

19 Aug 2014 -
 Expert Witness Disqualification
Just because your credentials qualify you as an expert is no guarantee that you will get to testify as a witness in court.

26 Jul 2014 - Expert Witness Credibility
If you have risen in your profession to the point where you have been appointed to testify before a trier-of-fact, or are consider offering yourself for such a position, it is wise to think about your intended audience and consider the ways they define an expert.

1 Jul 2014 - Expert witnesses in legal aid cases
Guidance about expert witnesses in cases funded by legal aid, including fees, prior authority and provisions for specific types of expert.

Jan 2014 - Forensic Science Regulators latest newsletter is now available  Forensic Science Regulator newsletters cover issues of interest and relevance to forensic science practitioners.

1 Jul 2014 - Legal aid guidance for expert witnesses
Guidance about expert witnesses in cases funded by legal aid, including fees, prior authority and provisions for specific types of expert.

8 Apr 2013 - Expert witness ruling a blow to children, Society warns 
Expert witness ruling a blow to children, Society warns: Children involved in family law cases will face extra uncertainty following a High Court ruling on the funding of expert witnesses, the Law Society has warned.

1 Apr 2013 - 60th and 61st  Updates to the CPR 35 Coming into force  Statutory Instrument and Practice Direction

1 Apr 2013New maximum rates for experts  
The changes apply to work carried out by experts in all civil, family and crime work with a case start date or representation order date of on or after 1 April 2013.

13 Jan 2013 - The Civil Procedure Amendement Rules (coming into force April 2013)
See the amendments which affect experts here  - February 2013.

21 Dec 2012 - Read issue 20 of Forensic Science Regulator newsletter
Forensic Science Regulator newsletters cover issues of interest and relevance to forensic science practitioners.

Nov 2012 - Forensic Science Regulator announcement
Andrew Rennison, Forensic Science Regulator announces an overview of the obligations placed on expert witnesses in the criminal justice system in England and Wales -November 2012

10 Oct 2012 - Jackson caps confirmed               
Damages-based agreements (DBAs) will be capped at 50%, apart from personal injury and employment law cases, the government has announced.

26 Jul 2012 - Guidance for the instruction of experts to give evidence in Civil claims 2012 CJC publishes revised guidance 
The purpose of this guidance is to assist litigants, those instructing experts and experts in understanding best practice with regard to compliance with Part 35 of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR or the Rules) and the overriding objective. Experts and those who instruct them should ensure they are familiar with CPR 35 and its associated practice direction (PD or PD35).

10 Apr 2012 - Alternative families and children: a review of the recent case of A v B and C

Alex Verdan QC and Charles Hale, both of 4 Paper Buildings, counsel for the father in A v B and C, consider the lessons that can be learned by practitioners from the Court of Appeal judgment.

19 Mar 2012 - Five key criminal cases including fresh expert evidence on appeal: R v Chattoo and others [2012] EWCA Crim 190

Firearms case where expert in second trial (defendant's acquitted) was relied on by defendants from first trial (defendant's convicted) to demonstrate a particular gun was not responsible for a killing. 

13 Mar 2012 - Channel 4 News: How Competent Are Expert Witnesses? 
Around 20 per cent of psychologists acting as expert witnesses for the family courts are not qualified, according to a Channel 4 News investigation, writes producer Phil Carter.

6 Apr 2012 - Civil Procedure Rule Update, 58th Update
The 58th Update to the Civil Procedure Rules introduces changes in a number of areas. The amendments to the Rules are contained in two Statutory Instruments. The first contains Rules for implementation of the Terrorism Prevention Implementation Act 2011; the provisions came into force on 14 December 2011. 

13 Mar 2011 - New Judgment: Jones v Kaney UKSC 
Expert witnesses have lost their immunity from being sued over matters arising in the course of proceedings, following a landmark ruling today [30.3.11]. By a majority of five to two, the Supreme Court removed the 400-year-old protection that gave expert witnesses immunity from suit for breach of duty whether in contract or negligence, in relation to their participation in legal proceed.