Towuaghantse v GMC [2021] EWHC 681 (Admin) Coroner’s findings, independence of experts and registrant denials: this case is not one to put on the “read later” pile – 2 Hare Court

‘It is difficult to know where to start with Towuaghantse v GMC [2021] EWHC 681 (Admin). I will give you a briefest account of the facts in a moment, but potentially Mostyn J’s judgment in this case stands as authority for the following principles:
a. The factual findings of a coroner, and any narrative conclusion, are all admissible against a registrant.
b. Authors of expert reports do not have to be independent in the sense of uninvolved with the institution or any of the players in a case, they are merely subject to a Porter v McGill style test of bias or apparent bias.
c. The capacity of a registrant to remediate sincerely should be judged by reference to evidence unconnected with their denials of the factual charges, unless the fact-finding decision included findings of blatant dishonesty by the registrant (a refinement of the same judge’s recent pronouncements in GMC v Awan [2020] EWHC 1553 (Admin)).’

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2 Hare Court, 30th March 2021

Source: www.2harecourt.com

Cauda Equina Syndrome and Referrals for Investigations: High Court Rejects Claim for Delayed Scan – Ropewalk Clinical Negligence Blog

‘In Jarman v Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust [2021] EWHC 323 (QB), the Claimant brought a claim against the Defendant hospital for failing to promptly diagnose Cauda Equina Syndrome (“CES”).’

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Ropewalk Clinical Negligence Blog, 25th February 2021

Source: www.ropewalk.co.uk

“Egregious” failings in expert evidence: a shot across the bows from the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) – 6KBW College Hill

Posted February 25th, 2021 in conspiracy, evidence, expert witnesses, fraud, news by sally

‘The conjoined appeals in R v Byrne and ors. [2021] EWCA Crim 107 related to the safety of convictions arising from separate trials in which the Crown had instructed the same expert, Andrew Ager. Although the convictions were found to be safe, both Ager himself and the prosecution came in for stark criticism, particularly in light of previous high-profile failings in this area in R v Pabon [2018] EWCA Crim 420. The case provides the clearest reminder to all parties in criminal proceedings to ensure compliance with the requirements relating to expert evidence.’

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6KBW College Hill, 17th February 2021

Source: blog.6kbw.com

Specific Issue Order for Vaccination-including COVID-19: M v H (Private Law Vaccination) [2020] EWFC 93 (15 December 2020) – Parklane Plowden Chambers

‘This hearing before MacDonald J was part of a wider private law dispute between parents regarding the children (P aged 6 and T aged 4) spending time with their father. A finding of fact hearing had already taken place, with a final hearing listed to commence on 21 December 2020. The original application from the father included a specific issue order, initially on MMR vaccination. This was then amended to vaccination in accordance with the NHS vaccination schedule.’

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Parklane Plowden Chambers, 24th February 2021

Source: www.parklaneplowden.co.uk

Provision of support to trafficking victims following a negative conclusive grounds decision – Garden Court Chambers

‘In MN v SSHD [2020] EWCA Civ 1746 the Court of Appeal considered several linked cases brought by victims of trafficking who had received negative Conclusive Grounds decisions.’

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Garden Court Chambers, 17th February 2021

Source: www.gardencourtchambers.co.uk

When is an expert not an expert? – 2 Hare Court

Posted February 11th, 2021 in chambers articles, expert witnesses, fraud, news by sally

‘Angus Bunyan reviews this week’s judgment in Byrne and others concerning the safety of a number of fraud convictions which relied on the evidence of a now discredited expert witness. Angus was prosecution trial counsel in one of the cases (leading Julia Faure Walker) and appeared for the Respondent on appeal. Narita Bahra QC was defence counsel in Sulley and others and appeared for two of the Appellants on appeal.’

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2 Hare Court, 4th February 2021

Source: www.2harecourt.com

Very Late Applications for Expert Reports: The Key is ‘Significance’ – Ropewalk Chambers

‘In Knapman v Carbines [2020] EWHC 3586 (QB), HHJ Cotter QC considered the balancing exercise to be conducted upon a very late application to rely on an expert report.’

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Ropewalk Chambers, 14th January 2021

Source: www.ropewalk.co.uk

Proof, expert evidence and credibility in trafficking cases – EIN Blog

‘The Court of Appeal has decided that the two-stage procedure provided for by the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) to determine whether a person is a victim of human trafficking, involving an initial decision on whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that a person is a victim, and a subsequent conclusive decision made on the balance of probabilities, complies with the requirements of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings 2005 (ECAT), Directive 2011/36 and article 4 of the ECHR. Two appellants (MN, an Albanian national, and IXU, a Nigerian national) appealed against the dismissal of their judicial review applications of decisions made by Home Office decision-makers that they were not victims of trafficking for the purposes of the NRM. The NRM sets out a two-stage identification procedure to determine whether someone was a victim of trafficking. A “Competent Authority”, a part of the Home Office, determines whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that a person is a victim. Then, in light of further consideration/investigation, the Competent Authority makes a conclusive decision. Conclusively established trafficking victims are entitled to support under the NRM. Some, but not all, of that support is available also to potential victims identified at the first stage. The Competent Authority made reasonable grounds determinations in favour of both MN and IXU but made conclusive decisions against them. Farbey J (MN) and Mr Philip Mott QC (IXU) dismissed the judicial review claims at first instance.’

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EIN Blog, 21st January 2021

Source: www.ein.org.uk

Court of Appeal: Expert was not under “fiduciary duty” to client – Litigation Futures

Posted January 14th, 2021 in conflict of interest, contracts, expert witnesses, fiduciary duty, news by tracey

‘The Court of Appeal has overturned the first decision in England and Wales to hold that an expert witness owed a fiduciary duty to their client.’

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Litigation Futures, 13th January 2021

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

Domestic abuse victims wrongly charged over £150 from GPs for letters confirming injuries – The Independent

Posted January 8th, 2021 in doctors, domestic violence, expert witnesses, fees, legal aid, news, victims by tracey

‘Domestic abuse victims are being wrongly charged over £150 by GPs for letters proving their injuries which are often required to access legal aid or other crucial services.’

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The Independent, 7th January 2021

Source: www.independent.co.uk

R v Broughton Clarifying Causation in Gross Negligence Manslaughter – 2 Hare Court

Posted November 17th, 2020 in causation, drug abuse, evidence, expert witnesses, homicide, negligence, news by sally

‘In 2017 a 24-year-old woman, Louella Fletcher Michie, died at the Bestival Music Festival, having taken 2-CP, a Class A drug, supplied by her boyfriend, the appellant.’

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2 Hare Court, November 2020

Source: www.2harecourt.com

Lessons for property lawyers from ‘holiday illness’ claim : Is the Court obliged to accept ‘unopposed’ expert evidence? – Hardwicke Chambers

Posted November 17th, 2020 in evidence, expert witnesses, news, personal injuries by sally

‘The High Court appeal in Griffiths v TUI [2020] EWHC 2268 handed down in August 2020 has been much remarked on by personal injury lawyers, but the decision is also of interest for cases in the business and property courts, as it places a significant restriction on the role of the Court in cases of “unopposed” expert evidence.’

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Hardwicke Chambers, 4th November 2020

Source: hardwicke.co.uk

Hodge worries about impact of pandemic on young lawyers – Litigation Futures

‘The deputy president of the Supreme Court has expressed fears that young lawyers have been unable to train properly during the pandemic and urged the profession to ensure there is no lasting damage to their education.’

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Litigation Futures, 12th November 2020

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

Section 21A Applications and Section 48 Orders (DP v A Local Authority) – 39 Essex Chambers

‘In this case, Mr Justice Hayden provides helpful practical guidance on the operation of section 48 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA 2005), as well as confirming the scope of, and the court’s role in, proceedings brought pursuant to MCA 2005, s 21A. He further emphasises the importance of section 21A application being determined speedily, in accordance with Article 5(4) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) (and accordingly suggests how practically weaknesses in capacity evidence could be addressed).’

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39 Essex Chambers, 15th October 2020

Source: www.39essex.com

Cell Site Evidence: Expert or Not? – St Philips Barristers

Posted November 10th, 2020 in conspiracy, drug trafficking, evidence, expert witnesses, news, telecommunications by sally

‘In R v Andrew Turner [2020] EWCA Crim 1241 the Court of Appeal considered the issue of when a professional witness crosses the line and gives expert evidence, in the context of mobile telephone analysis. The appeal concerned a conspiracy to supply class A drugs, the prosecution relied on mobile telephone and surveillance evidence. The appellant was said to be a driving force behind the conspiracy and that various incriminating mobile telephone numbers could be attributed to him.’

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St Philips Barristers, 5th November 2020

Source: st-philips.com

Part 1: Expert evidence – Additional expert evidence following a Joint Report. – Parklane Plowden Chambers

Posted October 27th, 2020 in evidence, expert witnesses, news, noise, personal injuries by sally

‘The recent case of Hinson v Hare [2020] EWHC 2386 QB provides further clarification on the circumstances in which a court may allow one party permission to rely on a further expert report, when the conclusions reached by the single joint expert are not to their liking. Whilst the specific claim was for noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) the principles expounded can be applied generally.’

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Parklane Plowden Chambers, 2nd October 2020

Source: www.parklaneplowden.co.uk

Defence QC’s accusation against prosecutor was not misconduct – Legal Futures

‘A QC who accused prosecution counsel of bad faith without reasonable grounds was in breach of Bar Standards Board rules but not to the level of professional misconduct, a tribunal has ruled.’

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Legal Futures, 25th September 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Judge refuses to let claimant abandon “unfavourable” joint expert – Litigation Futures

Posted September 15th, 2020 in appeals, expert witnesses, news, noise, personal injuries, reports by tracey

‘A High Court judge has upheld a decision not to allow a claimant in a noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) case to rely on a different expert because a joint expert produced an unfavourable report.’

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Litigation Futures, 15th September

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

Passports: Foreign law must be proved by expert evidence – EIN Blog

‘Hussein and Another (Status of passports: foreign law) [2020] UKUT 250 (IAC): CMG Ockelton VP has explained that (i) a person who holds a genuine passport, apparently issued to him, and not falsified or altered, has to be regarded as a national of the State that issued the passport, (ii) the burden of proving the contrary lies on the claimant in an asylum case, and (iii) foreign law (including nationality law) is a matter of evidence, to be proved by expert evidence directed specifically to the point in issue. The appellant Mr Hussein, who had permission to appeal, and the applicant Mr Abdulrasool, who was seeking permission to appeal, were father and son who made asylum claims, which were refused. The applicant, who was born in 2000, additionally claimed that he was so dependent on his parents that it would be disproportionate to remove him from the UK. Mr Hussein’s wife and two minor children were included in the appellant’s claim as his dependents. Both men gave their oral evidence in a hearing before FTTJ McAll in January 2020 as did Mr Hussein’s brother. The SSHD was not present and FTTJ McAll considered Mr Hussein’s claimed history in detail. He decided that he was untruthful and concluded that he had fabricated important parts of his account supporting his asylum claim. He decided that Mr Hussein was a national of Tanzania and could be returned there. He disbelieved the asylum claim and concluded that there was no good article 8 reason why he should not leave the UK and return to his country of nationality. Both appeals were dismissed.’

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EIN Blog, 7th September 2020

Source: www.ein.org.uk

Judges issues guidance to experts on remote evidence – Litigation Futures

Posted September 3rd, 2020 in evidence, expert witnesses, news, remote hearings by sally

‘A panel of top judges has issued guidance for expert witnesses on giving evidence remotely, which warns that “processing information through online contact is hard”.’

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Litigation Futures, 3rd September 2020

Source: www.litigationfutures.com