A new test to determine who is fit for trial – Law Commission

‘How do we determine whether someone accused of a crime is physically and mentally fit to participate in a criminal trial? And what do we do if they are not? These are the questions being examined today as the Law Commission brings together leading experts in criminal law and mental health to exchange views at a consultation event at Leeds University.’

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Law Commission, 11th June 2014

Source: www.lawcommission.justice.gov.uk

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Lack of legal aid derails contact proceedings – The Guardian

‘The President of the Family Division has adjourned contact proceedings by an unrepresented father pending the Ministry of Justice or any other responsible body to come up with the solution to the problem of one parent suffering an injustice due to the withdrawal of legal aid.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 10th June 2014

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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Expert court witnesses ‘ignored clients’ guilt’ – BBC News

Posted June 9th, 2014 in animals, evidence, expert witnesses, news by sally

‘An undercover Panorama investigation has found some paid expert witnesses prepared to provide helpful court reports despite a client’s confession.’

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BBC News, 9th June 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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R (JG) v Lord Chancellor (Law Society intervening) – WLR Daily

Posted May 29th, 2014 in appeals, care orders, costs, expert witnesses, law reports, legal aid by michael

R (JG) v Lord Chancellor (Law Society intervening) [2014] EWCA Civ 656;  [2014] WLR (D)  235

‘Where a child who was a party to private law proceedings under the Children Act 1989 had the benefit of public funding in respect of his costs and the court considered that it was necessary to instruct a single joint expert to produce a report to assist the court in determining what was in the best welfare interests of the child, but the other parties had no funding and were unable to pay their share of the expert’s costs, the court could depart from the order that it would otherwise have made, to the greater cost of the publicly funded party, where the failure to adduce the expert’s report would result in a breach of one of the party’s rights under articles 6 or 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and the court was not prevented from doing so by section 22(4) of the Access to Justice Act 1999. Where, in the case of a single joint expert, there was no problem over resources, there was no normal rule of equal apportionment of the costs, and that issue of apportionment was to be determined in the exercise of the court’s discretion, taking into account the particular circumstances of the case.’

WLR Daily, 21st May 2014

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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MN (Somalia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department; KY (Somalia) v Same – WLR Daily

MN (Somalia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department; KY (Somalia) v Same [2014] UKSC 30;  [2014] WLR (D)  227

‘A tribunal conducting asylum proceedings could admit, as expert evidence, a report by an organisation based on a telephone interview with an asylum claimant in which its analysts commented on the likelihood of that person originating from his claimed place of origin, based on the person’s dialect and answers to questions about the area in question, even though the report was in the name of the organisation rather than an individual and those contributing to it were identified only by serial numbers. However it was necessary for the tribunal in each particular case to be satisfied that the anonymity was necessary, with safeguards for the claimant in place, and that the authors of the report had demonstrated that they had relevant expertise for each matter on which they had commented.’

WLR Daily, 21st May 2014

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Legal Aid Agency may have to bear cost of expert fees – New Law Journal

Posted May 29th, 2014 in costs, expert witnesses, fees, legal aid, news, reports by michael

‘The Legal Aid Agency—formally known as the Legal Service Commission (LSC) —was wrong to refuse to pay the full cost of an expert witness report ordered for a child by the family court.’

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New Law Journal, 28th May 2014

Source: www.newlawjournal.co.uk

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Secretary of State for the Home Department (Appellant) v MN and KY (Respondent) – Supreme Court

Posted May 28th, 2014 in asylum, evidence, expert witnesses, law reports by sally

Secretary of State for the Home Department (Appellant) v MN and KY (Respondent) [2014] UKSC 30 (YouTube)

Supreme Court, 21st May 2014

Source: www.youtube.com/user/UKSupremeCourt

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Judges criticise impact of legal aid cuts – The Guardian

‘There has been a large increase in unrepresented claimants, outbreaks of courtroom violence, extra litigation and increased costs, according to senior judges who have criticised the impact of legal aid cuts in the family courts.’

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The Guardian, 14th May 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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New Family Court comes into being amid justice reforms – BBC News

Posted April 22nd, 2014 in care orders, delay, divorce, expert witnesses, family courts, news, time limits by sally

‘New combined Family Courts have come into being in England and Wales as part of family justice system reforms.’

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BBC News, 22nd April 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Expert determination: Hidden pitfalls – Hardwicke Chambers

‘Expert determination is a process in which parties to a contract jointly instruct a third party to decide an issue between them. Its advantages are self-evident: quick, cheap, informal and contract-based, it has obvious attractions and can be found in many commercial contracts.’

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Hardwicke Chambers, 3rd April 2014

Source: www.hardwicke.co.uk

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Care Proceedings: Who is Best Placed to Provide Best Evidence? – Family Law Week

‘Eleanor Battie, barrister of Crown Office Row, Brighton, asks whether the demand for speed in care proceedings is at the cost of best expert evidence.’

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Family Law Week, 1st April 2014

Source: www.familylawweek.co.uk

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Sara Ege murder case: Conviction appeal bid dismissed – BBC News

‘Judges have dismissed an appeal bid by a woman who beat her son to death for failing to memorise the Koran.’

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BBC News, 28th March 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Judge refuses whiplash damages as he criticises Britain’s ‘compensation culture’ – Daily Telegraph

Posted March 27th, 2014 in compensation, expert witnesses, judges, news, personal injuries by tracey

‘Britain’s compensation culture is a “national phenomenon,” a High Court judge said as he refused to grant damages to two women to “stem the tide” of fake insurance claims.’

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Daily Telegraph, 26th March 2014

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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Court of Appeal clarifies law on expert evidence – Henderson Chambers

Posted March 26th, 2014 in appeals, civil procedure rules, expert witnesses, news by sally

‘On 13 March 2014 the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in the case of Rogers & Rogers v Hoyle. The appeal deals with two significant issues that can arise in any area of civil practice: the status and admissibility of opinion evidence outside of CPR Part 35 and the extent of the long-standing rule in Hollington v Hewthorn.’

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Henderson Chambers, 13th March 2014

Source: www.hendersonchambers.co.uk

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Second bites at the cherry, defective witness statements and sanction: a practical view from the Bar – Littleton Chambers

‘In his monthly column, James Bickford Smith discusses the Court of Appeal’s recent guidance on communications with judges after draft judgments are circulated, some interesting judicial
observations on defective witness statements, and the Commercial Court’s important relief from
sanctions decision in Re C (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 70.’

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Littleton Chambers, 7th March 2014

Source: www.littletonchambers.com

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The dependable witness – New Law Journal

‘Martin Burns provides five important factors to consider when instructing an expert witness (or acting as one).’

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New Law Journal, 28th February 2014

Source: www.newlawjournal.co.uk

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How not to get a pre-inquest review wrong – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted February 28th, 2014 in coroners, expert witnesses, inquests, medicines, news by sally

‘This is the sad tale of a young woman aged 31 dying in mysterious circumstances where the inquest went off entirely on the wrong footing. Joanne Foreman was not a diabetic but lived with a young boy who was. It was suspected that on the night before she died she had drunk heavily and then injected herself with insulin. The inquest proceeded on this basis. Nobody told the expert that the paramedics had taken a blood glucose from Joanne, which was entirely normal. Once this was known, it was obvious that the court would quash the findings at inquest and order a new inquest.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 25th February 2014

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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Wall v Mutuelle de Poitiers Assurances – WLR Daily

Wall v Mutuelle de Poitiers Assurances [2014] EWCA 12; [2014] WLR (D) 86

‘Where a cyclist had been run down in France and brought proceedings in the English courts seeking damages for personal injury, the question whether there should be one single joint expert, or more than one expert pursuant to CPR Pt 35, was a matter of “evidence and procedure” within the meaning of article 1(3) of Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 864/2007. Therefore the question of which expert evidence the court should order fell to be determined in accordance with English and not French law.’

WLR Daily, 20th February 2014

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Fact or Friction – Horner v Norman – Zenith Chambers

Posted February 14th, 2014 in accidents, evidence, expert witnesses, negligence, news, personal injuries, road traffic by sally

‘It can be difficult at the best of times to establish liability in claims involving pedestrians. Expert evidence should, hopefully, make the task easier, but this case is a useful reminder that even seemingly robust expert evidence may not be enough for a party to succeed.’

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Zenith Chambers, 5th February 2014

Source: www.zenithchambers.co.uk

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The Doctor’s Note – Zenith Chambers

Posted February 14th, 2014 in adjournment, evidence, expert witnesses, health, medical treatment, news by sally

‘We are all sadly familiar with the last-minute application for an adjournment backed
by a doctor’s note, on the grounds that the defendant, claimant or important witness
is unfit to attend Court. Almost inevitably, the note in question is unsatisfactory or
insufficient. It frequently takes the jejune form of “Mrs X is suffering from an anxiety
state and is unfit to attend Court”, and that is all.’

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Zenith Chambers, 5th February 2014

Source: www.zenithchambers.co.uk

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