1. Expert Evidence and Healthcare Professionals

  1. John Gall2 and
  2. Jason Payne-James3
  1. I. Freckelton

Published Online: 14 MAR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470973158.ch1

Current Practice in Forensic Medicine

Current Practice in Forensic Medicine

How to Cite

Freckelton, I. (2011) Expert Evidence and Healthcare Professionals, in Current Practice in Forensic Medicine (eds J. Gall and J. Payne-James), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470973158.ch1

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Royal Children's Hospital and Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne, Australia

  2. 3

    London Hospital Medical College, UK

Author Information

  1. Victorian Bar in Melbourne, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 MAR 2011
  2. Published Print: 4 FEB 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470744871

Online ISBN: 9780470973158



  • expert evidence and healthcare professionals;
  • expert witnesses, the special entitlement - giving evidence, in the form of opinions, not just facts;
  • ‘expert’ for court purposes - person, with specialized knowledge by reason of skill, experience or training;
  • forensic physicians and forensic pathologists - with experience, familiarity in giving evidence in court, sometimes finding it difficult;
  • doctors and healthcare professionals - finding it stressful and traumatic, in giving evidence in courts and tribunals, as expert witnesses;
  • examination-in-chief, cross-examination and re-examination of medical practitioners - forensic physicians' ability in adapting to the witness box;
  • adversarial judicial systems, in UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the US - cases decided on the basis of information adduced by parties to litigation;
  • evidentiary rules of admissibility - determining information, experts are permitted to provide to courts;
  • eye contact, taking it out-of-play as a technique - helpful for the witness;
  • cross-examination, exercise of testing, probing and imposition of accountability


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • The adversarial system of justice

  • Expert reports

  • Evidentiary exclusionary rules

  • Pre-trial preparation for expert witnesses

  • Appearance

  • Timeliness

  • Giving of evidence

  • Managing cross-examination

  • Summary

  • References