Series: Expert Evidence
This case study examines the error of acting outside one’s area of expertise. The expert is being asked to explain the process of ouchterlony, an immunological technique used to detect the presence of human haemoglobin. The expert is Fred Anderson, who has a science degree with a major in genetics. He works as a forensic scientist specialising in population genetics, and a large amount of his work is in the area of DNA profiling. Show Less
This case study is a comparison between well-presented and poorly presented evidence. In this scenario, the expert is being asked about his investigation of a boat’s sinking rate. As part of the examination in chief, the expert is asked to explain how the “floodable volume” of the boat was determined. The expert is Mr Joe Bendall, who has a degree in architecture and boat design. Show Less
This case study likewise involves the contrast between well-presented and poorly presented evidence. In this scenario, the expert is being asked to explain the likelihood of DNA being accidentally transferred onto a train platform. The expert has previously given evidence about the way in which DNA can be transferred (through bodily fluids or tissues). Show Less
In the first example, the expert, Dr Jodie Witkowski, makes the statement that suggests uncertainty about her material. No eye contact to the judge. The second example, the expert clearly and carefully articulates her information in an assertive way, looking at both the barrister and the judge. Show Less
In the first example, the expert, Joe Bednall, appears to be mostly reading his evidence and doesn’t give the impression he’s across his material. The second example, the expert reads his statement, but punctuates the testimony with frequent glances toward counsel and the judge/jury. Note the firmer intonation in his voice. Show Less
In this first example, the expert, Dr Jodie Witkowski is flustered, causing the barrister to prompt her. The second example, the expert crisply delivers her statement with assurance, with occasional glances towards the judge/ jury.
This video defines and discusses the expert witness’ role and responsibilities.
Various legal and forensic specialists examine the behaviours and accountability that must be demonstrated by expert witnesses.
Professor Barbara Etter (Edith Cowan University), police forensic investigator Karl Kent, and Sam Norton of Robert Stary Lawyers discuss the challenges posed by evolving technologies when developing and presenting expert evidence.
Former Supreme Court judge The Hon Frank Vincent AO QC, Professor David Denton of Victoria University and others present their perspective on the importance of expert witnesses’ credibility and experience.
This video discusses the do’s and don’t of preparation for court testimony and cross-examination.
Sam Norton (Robert Stary Lawyers) and Karl Kent (Victoria Police Forensic Services Department) discuss with Professor Barbara Etter (Edith Cowan University) the importance of pre-appearance discussions with relevant parties.
Stephen Cordner (Forensic Medicine, Monash University) and David Wells (Forensic Medicine, Victoria Institute of Forensic Medicine) outline essential aspects of preparing effective written reports.
This video canvasses the elements that must comprise effective presentation of reports and opinions for court.
Legal and forensic experts present invaluable advice about the importance of good presentation in court and arbitral contexts.
Anyone can make mistakes when presenting expert evidence in an adversarial legal context: this video canvases ways to avoid them, and how to meet the many challenges positively.
Miscarriages of justice occur for sometimes the most slender, even avoidable reasons. This video presents some of the better-known Australian miscarriages of justice.
In the final video of this series, legal and forensic experts share excellent and easy-to-remember tips for expert witnesses seeking to improve performance in the courtroom.