EXPERTS AND FACTS: IT IS ALL IN THE RULES

Following the post yesterday about proving things and the role of experts there was an interesting comment from Elfed Williams.

WHAT DOES AN EXPERT DO ABOUT FACTS?

“I have some misgivings about whether an expert should identify primary facts and opine on the basis of those facts.
An expert is often presented with the need to extract from instructions and inspection (in the case of surveyors) and ascertain primary facts in any case, before he can give any opinion.
Or should he simply say.these are the facts I assume and proceed on that assumption ?”

THE ANSWER: IT IS ALL IN THE RULES

The answer to this is, as is often the case, in the Rules. Paragraph 57 of the Civil Justice Council  Guidance for the instruction of Experts.

“57. When addressing questions of fact and opinion, experts should keep the
two separate. Experts must state those facts (whether assumed or otherwise)
upon which their opinions are based; experts should have primary regard to their
instructions (paragraphs 20-25 above). Experts must distinguish clearly between
those facts that they know to be true and those facts which they assume.
58. Where there are material facts in dispute experts should express separate
opinions on each hypothesis put forward. They should not express a view in
favour of one or other disputed version of the facts unless, as a result of
particular expertise and experience, they consider one set of facts as being
improbable or less probable, in which case they may express that view and
should give reasons for holding it.”

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