Saturday, 2 April 2011

Expert Immunity from Civil Suit (save for defamation) abolished

As trailed here, the Supreme Court (5-2) has abolished the immunity enjoyed by expert witnesses from civil proceedings (save for defamation).  This brings experts into line with advocates, who lost their immunity in 2002.  Expert witnesses will now need insurance to cover them for negligence occurring during the course of their work as an expert.  This is, despite the chilling effect, especially in the family courts which this might give rise to.  I suspect the nature of the forensic process will still provide a high degree of protection to experts as it does to advocates, but the veil has been lifted and a new cause of mulplicity of actions and a further threat to the finality of ligation rears its ugly if you loose all your appeals and Europe can't help, you can now sue your expert as well as your end of fun...

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