Expert Witnesses: Role, Ethics, and Accountability

Ward, Tony (2014) Expert Witnesses: Role, Ethics, and Accountability. In: Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Springer, pp. 1494-1502. ISBN 978-1-4614-5689-6

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Expert witnesses make observations or draw inferences that lay or judicial fact finders would not be able to make for themselves. It is, nevertheless, the jury or judge and not the expert that is the ultimate fact finder. It is therefore central to the role of expert witnesses, and to their ethical obligations, that they give a clear account of their conclusions and reasoning that enables the fact finder to reach an informed and independent judgment as to how far expert evidence can be relied upon. In adversarial systems of trial, great reliance is placed upon cross-examination and the ability to call opposing experts to ensure that experts are held accountable for their methods and that fact finders are not misled. In practice, however, these methods have serious shortcomings and need to be combined with other forms of accountability such as oversight by professional bodies.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: M200 Law by Topic
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2018 13:11
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 18:30

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