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Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Evidence

8. Opinion evidence  

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each book includes typical questions, bullet-pointed answer plans and suggested answers, author commentary and diagrams and flow charts. This chapter explores an area of evidence law dominated by expert witness evidence and the extent to which flawed testimony leads to miscarriages of justice. Expert evidence is now commonplace in criminal and civil trials, and the courts and Parliament have developed procedures to ensure that it is of high quality. These are an eclectic mix of common law and statute and their development reflects the importance of scientific expertise. It is necessary to be familiar with the differences between expert and non-expert opinion evidence and on when and in what circumstances both types are admissible and questions that can be asked of the expert whilst giving evidence. The approach depends on whether the question relates to civil or criminal trials


Cover Evidence

12. Expert Evidence  

Chapter 12 deals with expert evidence. It discusses the principles governing the admissibility of expert opinion evidence; use of the work of others and the rule against hearsay; expert witnesses; ‘battles of experts’ and the presentation of expert evidence; and disclosure and evaluation of expert evidence.


Cover English Legal System

18. Criminal and civil appeals  

As seen in previous chapters, the appeal court system in England and Wales is hierarchical. This chapter is concerned with the various mechanisms by which the decisions of courts may be appealed or reviewed. It explores the grounds for appeals in criminal cases, including the concepts of ‘fresh evidence’ and ‘lurking doubt’. If a criminal appeal has been dismissed, the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which was set up to examine potential miscarriages of justice, may refer a case back to the appeal court in certain circumstances. The chapter highlights some of the criticisms of the CCRC’s role and effectiveness. The avenues of appeal in civil cases are also discussed.