preloader

Expert Blog

Who is an Expert Witness?

The Honourable Justice Chesterman once defined the role of the expert witness as: “… to educate or inform the court about the relevant aspects of the witness’s specialty to enable the court itself to access evidence, which, without that tuition, the court would be unable to do”. In most circumstances, the court does not admit mere opinion into evidence, as indicated by the opinion rule in s76 of Evidence Act (Cth) 1995 […]

Continue reading →

Need for Construction Experts on the Rise

As the population of Australian capital cities continues to increase, an increasing number of people are living in apartments. Although the government has spent decades promoting population density, there are arguably insufficient building regulations to prevent poor workmanship taking place. Buyers are owed few legal obligations by developers upon an apartment being sold, and there […]

Continue reading →

The Problem with ‘Ultimate Issue’ Questions

When preparing a letter of instruction for an expert witness, it is recommended that legal practitioners abstain from directly asking experts ‘ultimate issue’ legal questions. This is due to the risk that the expert witness’s answer will be deemed as being beyond their expert knowledge and be inadmissible, by virtue of not falling under the Expert Exception Rule in Section 79 of the Evidence Act.

Continue reading →

Expert witnesses play vital role in determining driver’s duty of care

Lee v McGrath [2018] ACTSC 173, heard in early June, involved the Plaintiff being struck and receiving catastrophic injuries when he attempted to run across a busy highway. The driver of the vehicle failed to stop in time to avoid striking the Plaintiff, due to being distracted by the Plaintiff’s friends, who ran across the road […]

Continue reading →