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COPFS Guidance booklet for Expert Witnesses
  • Nov 12, 2018
  • Latest News

COPFS Guidance booklet for Expert Witnesses
Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service

The role of the expert witness and disclosure
This booklet has been created to provide guidance to expert witnesses concerning the role of an expert witness and also about their obligations in relation to disclosure. “Expert” is an English term although it is now used throughout the UK in place of the older Scottish term “Skilled Witness”. Whilst there is no precise definition, for practical purposes it can be said that: “A skilled witness is a person who through practice, or study, or both, is specially qualified in a recognised branch of knowledge, whether it be art, science or craft”.
Dickson on Evidence,
Third Edition, paragraph 398.

The role of expert witness is different from that of any other witness in a criminal trial as an expert is the only type of witness who can give opinion evidence. The evidence of an expert witness must be independent and the court requires the highest standards of objectivity and accuracy from expert witnesses.

For more nformation please see

Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
25 Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1LA
0844 561 2000