Instructing experts in criminal proceedings

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Instructing experts in criminal proceedings
  • Content of experts' reports
  • Statements of understanding and declarations of truth in experts reports
  • Assessing the reliability of expert evidence
  • Failure of expert to comply with their duties

Instructing experts in criminal proceedings

Part 19 of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2020, SI 2020/759 (CrimPR) sets out the requirements for introducing expert evidence in criminal proceedings. The CrimPR should be read in conjunction with the Practice Direction on Expert Evidence, Criminal Practice Direction (CPD) V Evidence Part 19A. Together, these rules provide for greater scrutiny of the reliability and admissibility of expert evidence and also set out the issues and information which must be addressed when instructing expert reports.

For information on the admissibility of expert evidence, the duties imposed on experts and the procedure for the introduction of expert evidence in criminal proceedings, see Practice Note: Expert evidence in criminal proceedings.

Content of experts' reports

Given the necessity of compliance with the CrimPR, it is advisable for practitioners to include the following relevant requirements in any letter of instruction to an expert in criminal proceedings in order to comply with CrimPR, SI 2020/759, r 19.4:

  1. give details of the expert’s qualifications, relevant experience and accreditations. Practitioners must satisfy themselves as to the expertise of those they are instructing

  2. give details of any literature or other information which the expert has relied on in making the report

  3. contain a statement setting out the substance of all facts given to the expert which are material to the opinions expressed in the report, or upon which those opinions are

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