Expert Witness

The Fundamentals 1.
Any person holding himself out as an expert witness should acquaint himself with the duties and
responsibilities of expert witnesses:-
1. 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. 2
2. An expert witness should provide independent assistance to the court by way of objective, unbiased
opinion in relation to matters within his expertise. 3 An expert witness in the High Court should never
assume the role of an advocate.
3. An expert witness should state the facts or assumptions upon which his opinion is based. He should not
omit to consider material facts which could detract from his concluded opinion. 4
4. An expert witness should make it clear when a particular question or issue falls outside his expertise.
5. If an expert?s opinion is not properly researched because he considers that insufficient data is available,
then this must be stated with an indication that the opinion is no more than a provisional one. 5 In cases
where an expert witness, who has prepared a report, could not assert that the report contained the truth,
the whole truth and nothing but the truth without some qualification, that qualification should be stated in
the report.6
1. Per Cresswell J in The Ikarian Reefer [1993] 2 Lloyd?s Rep 68 at page 81
2. Whitehouse v Jordan [1981] 1 WLR 246 at 256, per Lord Wilberforce
3. See Polivitte Ltd v Commercial Union Assurance Co plc [1987] 1 Lloyd?s Rep 379 at 386, Garland J and Re J [1990] FCR
193, Cazalet J
4. (Re J, supra)
5. (Re J, supra)
6. Derby & Co Ltd and others v Weldon and others, The Times, 9 November 1990, per Staughton LJ

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