Welcome To The UK Expert Witness Blog
We’ll post our thoughts here on current legal issues and invite comments from everyone who has an interest in expert witnesses or the legal profession.
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You can have your say on the Expert Witness Blog by uploading you’re own blog contribution here . If it’s approved we’ll post your offering as soon as possible. Go ahead and join in! Just click on a headline to read the blog entry and you’ll be able to join in the discussion. All comments are moderated.
We recently blogged about the fact that the criminal law concept of joint enterprise was being reviewed by the Supreme Court and today we’ve got the answer. In R v Jogee  UKSC 8 the Court decided that previous decisions by UK Courts “took a wrong... Read more
Today the UK Supreme Court is hearing arguments relating to the use of the legal concept known as 'Joint Enterprise'. In layman's terms, this means that if a defendant is present when others linked to him commit an offence he can also be prosecuted for the full offence. It often involves cases where a defendant 'egged on' the prime mover or encouraged him in some way. It's a... Read more
Fines For Water Pollution Incidents Dr Phil Smith, Aquatonics Ltd. Keywords: expert witness water pollution, fish kills, fines Until recently, most of the fines for water pollution incidents in England and Wales were below £50,000, even for larger companies where the incident was caused by their negligence. That all changed in July 2014 when the Sentencing Council published a Definitive Guideline for Environmental Offences . This was designed to enable magistrates and judges to... Read more
Barrister Charlotte Proudman was recently complimented on her appearance by a solicitor in a private message on her LinkedIn profile. What did she do? Say thank you? Say that she was uncomfortable with LinkedIn being used in that way? No. She took to the airwaves, publicly naming the solicitor, saying she was outraged by such 'sexism'. What utter tosh. I think most people will agree that it's inappropriate, even in a private message, to use LinkedIn in this... Read more
I used to hate prosecuting Juvenile (Youth) Courts back in the day for a number of reasons. When I started, car theft was rampant in the UK and my court was one of the busiest in the land so I used to end up needing a truck to take the files to court. Usually, it was the same little darlings I saw week after week, month after month, mainly because there was an understandable desire not to criminalise young people and divert them away from the path they were on. So chance... Read more
A recent case from the U.S has highlighted the doctrine of 'loose lips costs ships' when an expert witness was challenged over a conversation she had with opposing counsel on another matter. Now, we don't have the strict Daubert rules that the U.S has when it... Read more
Professor Richard James, 20th July 2015: As the Professor of Microbiology in The Medical School of the University of Nottingham, I had given many media interviews relating to hospital infections such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and the global problem of... Read more
As a former prosecutor I can tell you that sometimes it's not easy to come to a conclusion about pursuing a case. You have to look at the evidence in tandem with the public interest and sometimes what you see in front of you falls short. When you brick wall a prosecution you know that there will be a lot of unhappy people baying for your blood - the police who put the hours in and the alleged victims, but you quickly grow a thick skin. Read more
Off-topic today but something that I picked up on over the last couple of days. Why is it that the media are repeatedly portraying UK Jihadis as victims? Are they right? Is it political correctness? Or is it that we just find it hard to understand what motivates 'normal', law-abiding citizens to travel to a land they've never seen, train how to... Read more
09/06/2015: A bit off-topic but something that's going to affect us all pretty soon - the EU referendum. Hands up - I'm unashamedly in the out (or 'No') camp but whatever side of the debate you're on or even if you've not made up your mind just yet it's important that this referendum takes place on a level playing field - and... Read more
26/05/2015: When I was a Prosecutor many moons ago I used to come home from work and tell the Mrs about my day, the success and the failures. Most of the time she didn't want to know but there are days when you need to offload so the poor woman suffered. Oh how those winter evenings flew by. But one thing stands out when I think... Read more
14/05/2015: Whether you're an advocate of our current human rights law or not the current position is that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) still holds sway over our own Supreme Court whether you like it or not - at least for now. But recent Government disquiet over this situation has raised this thorny issue yet again.... Read more
24/04/2015: Well I've sat in front of the goggle-box over the past few months - no not continuously! - and I've listened to debates, arguments and soundbites from politicians on every topic under the sun from immigration to the economy and much much more. Even sanitary towels got a mention today. I'm not kidding. But not once have... Read more