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Expert witnesses and the Scottish courts: Hainey judgement suggests pre-trial hearing of medical evidence

2013 April 29
by Mary Munro

Update

“Justice Secretary to meet Dundee academics branded ‘quacks’ by judges” Courier
“Child abuse specialist examines lessons to be learned from death of tragic toddler Declan Hainey” Daily Record
“MSP intervenes in trial experts furore” Herald

Following posted on 25.04.13

“Kim Hainey judges apologise to two academic witnesses after they branded them ‘quack doctors'” Daily Record
“Judges sorry for ‘quacks’ trial claim” Scottish Sun
“Judiciary apologises for ‘quack doctor’ comment in baby death appeal” STV
“Judges apologise for “quack” doctor comment” Law Society Journal Online
“Murder appeal judges sorry for quack doctors comment” Herald

Following posted on 22.04.13

“It is to be noted that in England and Wales the rules of procedure require that where there is to be medical evidence led and relied upon it should be considered at a pre-trial hearing.

“The pre-trial process is of particular importance. Without robust pre-trial management, the real medical issues cannot be identified and, absent such identification, a judge is unlikely, to be able to prevent experts wandering into unnecessary, complicated and confusing details; accordingly, a judge who is to hear a case of this type should deal with all pre-trial hearings, save for those in which no issue of substance arise. By the time a trial starts the essential medical issues which the jury have to resolve, and the expert evidence, identifying the source on which the evidence is based, should all be clear” – see Archibald Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice 2012 at 1380.

It may be that the time has come for some thought to be given to providing for such an approach in Scotland in such cases.” Kimberley Hainey V HMA 2013HCJAC47 para 52

“Expert evidence in court must be relied upon to deliver justice” Herald
“Bringing expert minds to bear on the law” Herald

Following posted on 20.04.13

“Judge in shake-up call over trial specialists” Herald
“Gran’s tears as Kim Hainey has her conviction for murder quashed over the death of tragic toddler Declan” Daily Record
“Declan Hainey death: Appeal judges brand scientist at the heart of the case a ‘quack’ as the tot’s mother is freed from jail” Daily Record
“Declan mum freed as FAI is ordered” Evening Times
“Judges ‘quacks’ blast for prosecutors as Kimberley Hainey is freed” Scottish Sun
“Mother released after conviction for murdering baby son quashed” STV
“Judges free addict mother cleared of murdering toddler” Scottish Express
“Judge misdirected on undermined expert evidence: appeal court” Law Society Journal Online
“Declan mother is cleared after catalogue of errors” Herald

Following posted on 2.11.06

“‘No mercy’ in court for expert witnesses “ Herald

See also

Judiciary of Scotland apology 24.4.13

Kimberley Hainey v HMA 2013HCJAC47 summary judgement | Full

Speech by Lady Clark of Calton at Forensic Science Society Conference: “Expert evidence: viewed from the bench” April 2013

Expert Witness Institute
Law Society of Scotland Directory of Expert Witnesses

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