Expert evidence in private children proceedings
Expert evidence in private children proceedings

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Expert evidence in private children proceedings
  • Opinion evidence
  • Who is an expert?
  • Single joint experts
  • Instruction of experts prior to proceedings
  • Duties of an expert
  • Preliminary enquiries of experts
  • Permission of the court
  • Instructing the expert
  • Written questions to an expert
  • more

This Practice Note deals with adducing expert evidence in private law children proceedings including the statutory provisions (in particular Part 25 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010) and the associated Practice Directions) and the definition of an expert. It also considers when expert evidence will be necessary, the procedure on an application for permission and the factors that the court must take into account when determining an application for permission, the instruction of experts, including a single joint expert, (SJE) and payment of the expert’s fees. It also covers the duties of an expert, and their attendance at court. It also explains the requirement for an expert in children proceedings to meet the requisite national standards for an expert.

The provision and control of expert evidence in children proceedings is now governed by:

  1. section 13 of the Children and Families Act 2014 (CFA 2014)

  2. Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, Pt 25

  3. FPR 2010, PD 25A

  4. FPR 2010, PD 25B

  5. FPR 2010, PD 25C

  6. FPR 2010, PD 25E

  7. Civil Evidence Act 1972 (CEA 1972)

A working group on medical experts in the family courts was established by the President of the Family Division in autumn 2018. Williams J was appointed to chair the group, with representation from the judiciary, legal profession, Royal Medical Colleges and other interested bodies. On