Experts and evidence in court
DOI link for Experts and evidence in court
Experts and evidence in court book
Although forensic science has multiple applications, it is often undertaken with the courts in mind. Courts typically have formal processes that guide judicial decisions on the admissibility of expert evidence. This chapter considers the nature of expert evidence and specialised knowledge, and explores the criteria that courts use to determine expert status. Several limitations become apparent, in both the capacity of courts and the admissibility criteria they use, for effective gatekeeping of expert evidence. The chapter outlines different approaches adopted by courts for the use of experts, ranging from court-appointed experts to jointly determined expert reports. It next considers various challenges for judicial officers, lawyers and experts themselves in using and presenting expert evidence in courts. For critical forensic studies, a key concern is mobilising expertise in the courtroom in the most effective, efficient and just manner for the victim, the accused person and the community. The chapter therefore discusses strategies for building greater capacity in the system for the best use of expert evidence.