Sunday, June 8, 2014

Bulletin: Expert court witnesses; (UK); "Justice for sale?" BBC News "Panorama" investigation secretly films expert witnesses - and finds some of them flouting the rules. Program set to run on BBC One on Monday 9 June at 19.30 BST;

STORY: "Expert court witnesses 'ignored clients' guilt,'  published by BBC News on June 8, 2014.

GIST: "An undercover Panorama investigation has found some paid expert witnesses prepared to provide helpful court reports despite a client's confession. Only one of nine expert witnesses approached did not want to get involved after the reporters admitted "guilt"......... Expert witnesses produce reports for use in court whenever specialist knowledge is required. They are bound by ethical duties and legal rules, which state their reports should be independent and impartial, even though they are often paid for by only one side or the other. Their reports should include all relevant information provided by the client. (Secret filming);  Four of the expert witnesses Panorama approached provided court-ready reports. All were caught on camera flouting the rules......... As an industry, expert witnesses are subject to very limited regulation and there are calls for greater powers to police them. Last year, the Ministry of Justice rejected a proposal from the Law Commission to bring in a new law giving courts greater powers of scrutiny of expert testimony. However, Justice Minister Damian Green said: "Rules for criminal courts are being tightened and changed so judges are provided with more information at an early stage about any expert evidence being used, giving them the opportunity to challenge anything inappropriate."
Watch Panorama, Undercover: Justice for Sale? on BBC One on 9 June at 19:30 BST."

The entire story can be found at:


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