This chapter examines the role of the expert witness and the ways in which it has been both informed and formed by the high-profile miscarriages of justice. The expert witness is alone in the courtroom in being able to give opinion evidence and is there to assist the court with elucidating and presenting information about a specialist subject which is outside the expertise of the jury. This anomalous role was developed during the eighteenth century and the ability to give an opinion remains the primary factor that separates the role of the expert witness from that of other witnesses in court. In addition to the issue of non-disclosure, the appeals into the Maguire Seven, Birmingham Six and Judith Ward all exposed the problem of bias in relation to the evidence given by the expert witnesses. The experts were accused of having lost their impartiality.
|Title of host publication||The Expert Witness, Forensic Science, and the Criminal Justice Systems of the UK|
|Editors||Lucina Hackman, Fiona Raitt, Sue Black|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Number of pages||18|
|Publication status||Published - 24 Apr 2019|