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Why undertake Expert Witness training?

Why undertake Expert Witness training?

Why undertake Expert Witness training?

As well as having the relevant qualifications and experience in yourprofessional field, it is now regarded as essential that Experts undertakerecognised Expert Witness Training. When instructing an Expert Witness,solicitors must adhere to Part 6 of the Experts Code of Guidance and ensure the expert has experience, expertise and “training appropriate to the value, complexity and importance of the case.”

What are the Civil Procedure Rules and the Criminal Procedure Rules?

These are the procedural rules for the Civil and Criminal Courts and which apply to Experts and Assessors. The full details of these can be sourced online.

Civil Procedure Rules –Part 35

For those matters in the Civil Courts you should read, understand and keepup to date on the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) Part 35: Experts and Assessors. These are supplemented by Part 35 Practice Direction: Experts and Assessors and the Protocol for the Instruction of Experts to Give Evidence in Civil Claims.

The relevance to Podiatry is usually with reference to the provision of reportsfor Personal Injury or Clinical negligence cases and which, in addition to the provision of written reports can also require you to give your Expert evidence orally in Court.

Please note:

Part 35.3: Experts – Overriding duty to the Court

(1) It is the duty of experts to help the Court on matters within his/herexpertise.

(2) This duty overrides any obligation to the person from whom expertshave received instructions or by whom they are paid.

Part 35.10: Contents of report

Criminal Procedure Rules – Part 33

The relevance to Podiatry is usually with reference to the provision of reportsfor identification evidence. This could be in relation to Record Card Identification, Bare Footprints, Footwear or Forensic Gait Analysis cases and which, in addition to the provision of written reports, will often require you to give your Expert evidence orally in Court.

What about Professional Indemnity Insurance for Expert Witness work?

It is strongly recommended that you have indemnity insurance as an ExpertWitness before you commence Expert Witness work. The Expert Witness Institute has this as a requirement of membership and which can be arranged via the Expert Witness Institute. In 2011, the fee via the EWI can be expected to be between £100 and £200 per annum. Further enquiries can be made directly to the Expert Witness organisations. This insurance is separate to any Professional Indemnity insurance you may have via your professional body.The Forensic Podiatry Special Interest Group does not provide insurance.

Mentoring/Supervision

When a Podiatrist begins to undertake forensic case work, we would strongly recommend seeking a mentor/clinical supervisor who has knowledgeof/experience in this field of work. Whilst it would be preferable to have a Forensic Podiatrist as a sole mentor, this is not essential and could be fulfilled, in part, by a practitioner from another forensic discipline, for example, a forensic marks examiner who is familiar with the role of the Podiatrist in forensic identification.

For further information, please contact Professor Wesley Vernon OBE, PhDon wesley.vernon@nhs.net and for Forensic Gait Analysis: Haydn KellyFCPodS, BSc hdkelly@podiatry.co.uk

When qualified as a Podiatrist and having Forensic Podiatry case experience, we would recommend applying for competency testing with the Forensic Science Society.

This testing process was piloted on 24/09/2010 and is likely to be the futuremeans of testing Podiatrists competence in forensic practise in the UK. For further information, contact the Forensic Science Society:

www.forensic-science-society.org.uk

As a Forensic Podiatrist it is recommended in joining one or more of theprofessional associations for those involved in Human Identification andExpert Witnesses work. The following organisations are of relevance toForensic Practise and Expert Witnesses:

British Association for Human Identification (BAHID) www.bahid.org This is appropriate for UK-based forensic Podiatrists. They have a section specific to the discipline on their web-site which is accessible in full to members.

Forensic Science Society (FSSoc) www.forensic-science-society.org.uk

One of the most prestigious professional organisations for forensic science.

This is appropriate for UK-based Podiatrists with various membershipcategories according to level of involvement/experience. In 2010, the FSSoc commenced a scheme for the competency testing of Forensic Podiatrists and hold a register of Podiatrists who have been assessed under this scheme.

International Association for Identification (IAI) www.theiai.org

This is the largest association for those involved in human identification in the world, based in the USA. In July 2007, the IAI formally recognised Forensic Podiatry within their structure and this is likely to be the centre for major developments in the specialty.

International Association of Forensic Sciences www.iafs2011.mj.pt

Inaugurated in 1957, the International Association of Forensic Sciences(IAFS) is a worldwide association to bring together academics and practicingprofessionals of various disciplines in forensic science.

The aims and objectives of IAFS are: to develop forensic sciences; to assistforensic scientists and others to exchange scientific and technical information; and to organize triennial meetings.

Academy of Expert Witnesses www.academy-experts.org

The Academy was established in 1987 to promote the better use of expertsand to ensure that a standard of excellence is maintained and developed. The Academy provides a source of accreditation, training, support and guidance on technical issues relating to Expert Witnesses.

Expert Witness Institute (EWI) www.ewi.org

The Expert Witness Institute was launched in November 1996 to service and support experts. It acts as a voice for the expert witness community, supporting experts from all professional disciplines and lawyers who use theservices of experts. Its functions are to encourage, train and educate experts and to improve and maintain their standards and status. The EWI actively works with a wide range of professional bodies to achieve this.

Society of Expert Witnesses www.sew.org

The Society of Expert Witnesses exists to promote excellence in the work of expert witnesses. It has an inclusive membership policy and is run by expert witnesses for expert witnesses.