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Experts Notes

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ESSAY PLAN 4 - Experts in general Duty to the court Jolowicz (2000) - experts needs because "no judge is omniscient" and "we cannot demand of the judges that they have knowledge of every branch of science, of every art and of the mysteries of every profession". Hodgkinson and James (2010) - four main categories of expert evidence: 1) opinion on facts, 2) explain technical subjects/words, 3) evidence of fact, 4) admissible hearsay of a specialist nature. Lord Woolf's reforms were intended to "increase the independence of experts and to reduce their partisan use by the parties".... "assist the court". Lord Woolf was of the opinion that expert evidence was one of the two "major generators of unnecessary cost in civil litigation" (along with disclosure/discovery). Commercial Judges in their collegiate response to the Woolf Inquiry stated that experts had become a very effect weapon in the parties' arsenal of tactics_ polarisation of issues and unwillingness to concede issues from the start; insufficient observance of confines of expert evidence not in the realms of rival submission; insufficient willingness to strip out, agree or concede. Key Surveyors (1996) - Lord Bingham - "on occasion becoming more partisan than the parties" Armstrong - Brooke LJ: "we do not have trial by expert in this country; we have trial by judge" experts are not infallible and the judge is the final arbiter. Arden LJ: the judge cannot remain mute, but doesn't have to become loquacious. Dwyer - "the Woolf reforms have successfully walked the fine line between experts as judicial assistants on the one side and experts as adversarial weapons on the other" Whitehouse - Lord Wilberforce: "it is necessary that expert evidence presented to the court should be and should be seen to be the independent product of the expert uninfluenced as to form or content by the exigencies of litigation". CPR 35.3 - paramount duty of the expert to help the court on the matters within his expertise and this duty overrides any obligation the expert may have to the person who instructs/pays him. Dwyer (2007) - four ways of reducing likelihood of bias in expert evidence: (1) use of neutral experts, (2) duties and obligations, (3) removal of litigation privilege from draft expert reports and (4) restricting opportunities for personal involvement. Clarke in foreword to Experts in Civil Courts thinks that stigma of partisanship still exists today because it "is inevitable because it is human nature".

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