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What constitutes bias in an expert witness?

Posted on 01/01/2009 · Posted in Expert Information

Who does an expert witness owe a duty to?

This is probably the most important aspect of an expert’s work. His duty is to the court and he has to maintain his independence at all times. This has been enshrined in the court rules in many parts of the world.

Nothing is a waste of time if you use experience wisely.”
Auguste Rodin

Originally the duties of an expert were covered in a court case, which is now known as the Ikarian Reefer rules. This was follows a judgement by Mr. Justice Cresswell in National Justice Compania Naviera SA v Prudential Assurance Company Limited in 1993.

Since then various legal jurisdictions have produced detailed rules such as:

There are also some places which still have no rules but then it is common to adopt the rules from a known jurisdiction usually the English ones. One such place is Ireland, which although has an established basis on which expert evidence is given, there are not formal rules. It is anticipated that they will institute their own before too long.

Please do not expect an expert to support the case irrespective of the facts, it will avoid disappointment. Although he will not be part of the legal team who is arguing for a litigation party – he is probably a really asset if he is used correctly.

Expert Evidence has a large international business and regularly is called to give evidence in courts around the world.

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Disclaimer please confirm any of the above views with your solicitor. Expert Evidence takes no responsibility or provides any guarantee that the views above are correct for your particular case or jurisdiction.