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Paediatricians as expert witnesses in the Family Courts in England and Wales: Standards, competencies and expectations.
  • Nov 7, 2018
  • Latest News

Guidance from the Family Justice Council and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
August 2018.

This guidance was written by a joint RCPCH and Family Justice Council Working Group. Thanks are due to all members of the Working Group and to the British Psychological Society who in partnership with the FJC conceptualised their own document for psychologists1, on which this document is based.

We are also grateful to The Right Honourable Sir James Munby, former President of the Family Division of the High Court and Chair of the Family Justice Council, the President’s Office and the secretariat of the FJC for their support throughout the process.

The members of the Working Group were:
Professor Alison M Kemp (Paediatric representative, FJC and RCPCH) Dr Jamie Carter (Assistant Child Protection Officer, RCPCH)
Dr Jaime Craig (Mental Health Specialist, FJC)
Maud Davis (Family Solicitor, FJC)
Dr Geoff Debelle (Chairperson, Child Protection Standing Committee, RCPCH) HHJ Andrew Greensmith (formerly District Judge, FJC)
HHJ Jane Probyn (Circuit Judge, FJC)

1. Introduction  
2. Role of paediatricians as expert witnesses in family proceedings
3. The role of the paediatric team when assessing the child with suspected maltreatment
4. The role of the professional witness  
5. Regulation and codes of conduct
6. Issues in relation to competences
7. Supervision/peer review
8. Quality of service
Appendix 1:
The Legal Framework: A Summary of the Role and Duties of a
Court Appointed Expert 15
Appendix 2:
Examples of case instructions and appropriate time ranges 21
Appendix 3:
Checklist for instructing solicitors 22

Please download here