15 Jun 2017

Experts’ Reports – Paper Presented By Ian Roberts SC, 8 May 2017

Ian Roberts SC


1. As experts you are a privileged group of people. You are entitled to give evidence that no one else is able to give. The general rule is that evidence of an opinion is not admissible[1]. The exception to the rule is that such evidence may be admitted if it is based on the witness’ training, study or expertise.[2]

2. An expert is of no use in litigation if his or her report is not admissible. For the report to be admissible it must comply with certain requirements.

3. On 23 June 2011 the High Court reviewed the requirements of experts reports both under section 79(1) of the Evidence Act and at common law[3]. Those of you who are routinely required to give expert opinion evidence, ought to be familiar with the principles set out in that decision.

4. Expert witnesses should also expect a tougher line to be taken by Judges in determining the admissibility of expert evidence following Dasreef. As Heydon J said:[4]

Finally, and very importantly, there is increasing concern about the risk of injustice that may flow from unsatisfactory expert evidence. The stricter the admissibility requirements for s 79 tenders, the greater the chance that evidence carrying that danger will be excluded.

TAGS: Commercial

Previous Article
'Enemies Foreign And Domestic'! Thomas V Mowbray And The New Scope Of The Defence Power

07 Jun 2017

Hernan Pintos-Lopez

Next Article
Broadening The Traditional Use Of Mediation To Resolve Interlocutory Issues Arising In Matters Before The Courts

07 Jul 2017

Adele Carr