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Montoya v London Borough of Hackney

Posted on 15/07/2005 · Posted in Expert Witness

Judge’s ability to agree or disagree with expert evidence

It was found at trial that a property owned by the LB of Hackney was in a state of disrepair. A single joint expert had found a number of problems with the property, but submitted that the problems found were typical of properties of the age and type of the property concerned and did not amount to disrepair. The LB of Hackney appealed the judge’s finding given that he had gone against the only expert evidence in the case.

While usually reluctant to interfere with the discretion of a judge, the Queen’s Bench Division allowed the appeal because in its view there was no evidential basis for the judge to come to a conclusion contrary to the expert’s evidence. The judge had before him the evidence of a court appointed expert whose opinions were clearly expressed and with which no one or nothing disagreed.

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