The professional regulatory cases of the psychiatrist Dr Richard Pool and the neuropathologist Dr Waney Squier have given rise to concerns among expert psychiatric witnesses, and indeed medical experts in general. Here we restate the law on expert evidence with particular reference to the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Kennedy v Cordia. We emphasise that Pool does not change the law regarding ‘what is expertise’; in particular, the case does not establish restrictive, status-based tests governing the admissibility of expert evidence such as according to whether an expert psychiatric witness has undergone higher training, is on the specialist register as a specialist in a particular field or is a consultant. Rather, expertise continues to be legally defined in terms of a combination of qualification, knowledge and experience. Crucially, the test of medical expertise in legal proceedings is a legal test and not one determined within a medical paradigm.
• Understand the law defining admissible expert evidence, in particular the distinction between ‘admissibility’ of evidence as ‘expert’ and the evidential ‘weight’ that courts may accord to admissible expert evidence
• Understand the issues that arose from the cases of Dr Pool and Dr Squier, and why they caused (unnecessary) medical concern
• Understand the factual relevance to being an expert witness of having undergone higher training, being on the specialist register as a specialist in a particular field, and being a consultant
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.
* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 11th April 2018 - 25th May 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.