Expert evidence test

Profession

The Law Commission has proposed more stringent procedures on expert evidence to prevent defendants being wrongfully convicted on the basis of flawed evidence.

In a report published in March, “Expert Evidence in Criminal Proceedings in England and Wales”, the Commission argues that judges are failing to adequately scrutinise evidence to ensure it is reliable before allowing it to be admitted in court.

Instead, the Commission proposes that judges apply a new reliability-based admissibility test in appropriate cases. Under this test, judges would have discretion to exclude evidence from experts, and evidence would fail the reliability test if it was based on “flawed data”, “unjustifiable assumptions”, or techniques that were not “properly applied”.
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