A more recent version of these Evidence Experts notes – written by City Law School students – is available here.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our BPTC Civil Ligitation Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
CIVIL EVIDENCE EXPERT EVIDENCE Rule: Witness should not be asked questions or offer answers which require the Witness to venture an opinion on a fact-in-issue (decision on facts/inferences is for Tribunal of Fact)
Witness may give an opinion, which conveys relevant facts personally perceived by him (if describing those facts would be unduly difficult and artificial"
Eg. "appeared to be drunk", "he was about 60"
Expert evidence is opinion evidence - therefore inadmissible unless conditions satisfied Conditions for Admissibility
1. Matter which is outside the ordinary experience of the tribunal of fact,
2. Matter on which there is a recognised body of expertise governed by accepted rules and principles
3. Witness putting forward the evidence must be suitably qualified to give expert testimony on the subject, and
4. Party seeking to rely on the expert evidence must obtain a direction granting permission Expert is only allowed to express an opinion within their field of expertise
may give evidence of facts which he is personally aware of (ie as a normal Witness),
may give evidence of facts within someone else's knowledge - if comply with hearsay notice.
Where expert evidence is admitted:
commentary on everyday facts: inadmissible,
scientific analysis of evidence: admissible. "Expert"
Qualification Skilled in the field in question through qualifications or experience. Experts with both qualifications and experience - carry more weight. Independence Expert owes overriding duty to the court to help on matters within their expertise. Evidence must be and be seen to be independent If Expert demonstrates that he does not understand his duty to the Court, may be excluded from giving evidence. Party calling expert must disclose any interest expert may appear to have - generally attach CV to expert report
Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our BPTC Civil Ligitation Notes.