See also:special knowledge; as used in
See also:law, an expert is a
See also:person, selected by a
See also:court, or adduced by a party to a cause, to give his opinion on some point in issue with which he is peculiarly conversant . In
See also:Roman law questions of disputed
See also:handwriting were referred to experts; and in France, whenever the court considers that a
See also:report by experts is necessary, it is ordered by a
See also:judgment clearly setting forth the
See also:objects of the expertise (
See also:Code Proc . Civ.
See also:art . 302) . Three experts are then to be appointed, unless the parties agree upon one only (art . 303) . The experts are required to take an
See also:oath (art . 305), but in practice this requirement is frequently dispensed with . They may be challenged on the same grounds as witnesses (art . 31o) . The necessary documentary and other evidence is laid before them (art . 317), and they make a single report to the court, even if they
See also:express different opinions: in that case the grounds only of the different opinions are to be stated, and not the
See also:personal opinion of each of the experts (art .
318) . If the court is not satisfied with the report, new experts may be appointed (art . 322); the
See also:judges are not bound to adopt the opinion of the experts (art . 323) . " This procedure in regard to experts is
See also:common to both the
See also:civil and commercial courts, but it is much more frequently resorted to in the commercial court than in the civil court, and the investigation is usually conducted by special experts officially attached to each of these courts " (Bodington, French Law of Evidence,
See also:London, 1904, p . 102) . A similar
See also:system is to be found in force in many other
See also:European countries; see e.g . Codes of Civil Procedure of
See also:Holland, arts . 222 et seq.; Belgium, arts . 302 et seq.; Italy, arts . 252 et. seq.; as well as in those colonies where French law has been followed (Codes of Civil Procedure of
See also:Quebec, arts . 392 et seq.; St
See also:Lucia, arts .
286 et seq.) . In
See also:Mauritius the articles of the French law, summarized above, are still nominally in force; but in practice each side calls its own expert evidence, as in England . There is some evidence that in England the courts were in early times in the
See also:habit of ; ummoning to their assistance, apparently as assessors, persons specially qualified to advise upon any scientific or technical question that required to be determined . Thus " in an
See also:appeal of maihem (i.e. wounding) . . . the court did not know how to adjudge because the
See also:wound was new, and then the
See also:defendant took issue and prayed the court that the maihem might be examined, on which a writ was sent to the
See also:sheriff to cause to come medicos chirurgieos de melioribus London, ad informandum dominum regem et curiam de his quae cis ex parte domini rcgis injungerentur (
See also:Book, 21
See also:Hen . VII. pl . 30, p . 33)• The practice ,of calling in expert assistance in judicial inquiries was not confined to medico-legal cases . " If matters arise," said
See also:Justice Saunders in Buckley v .
See also:Thomas (1554, Plowden, 124 a), " which concern other faculties, we commonly apply for the aid of that science or
See also:faculty which it concerns."
See also:English procedure, however, being litigious, and not, like
See also:continental European procedure, inquisitorial, in its character, the expert soon became, and still is, simply a witness to speak to matters of opinion . There is a considerable
See also:body of law in England as to expert evidence . Only a few points can be touched upon here .
(i) An expert is permitted to refresh his memory in regard to any fact by referring to anything written by himself or under his direction at the
See also:time when the fact occurred or at a time when it was fresh in his memory . This is also law generally in the
See also:United States (see e.g . New
See also:York Civil Code, s . 1843) . In Scotland, medical and other scientific reports are lodged in
See also:process before the trial, and the witness reads them as
See also:part of his evidence and is liable to be examined or
See also:cross-examined on their contents . (2) In strictness, an expert will not be allowed, in cases of alleged insanity, to say that a litigating or incriminated party is insane or the
See also:reverse, and so to usurp the
See also:prerogative of the court or
See also:jury . But he may be asked whether certain facts or symptoms, assuming them to be proved, are or are not indicative of insanity . But in practice this
See also:rule is relaxed both in England and in Scotland, and (where it exists) to a still greater extent in
See also:America . (3)
See also:Foreign law can only be proved in English courts— and the same rule applies in Scotland—(a) by obtaining an opinion on the subject from a
See also:superior court of the
See also:country whose
See also:laws are in dispute under the Foreign Law Ascertainment
See also:Act 1861 or the
See also:British Law Ascertainment Act 1859, or (b) by the evidence of a lawyer of the country whose law is in question, or who has studied it in that country, or of an official whose position requires, and therefore presumes, a sufficient knowledge of that law . (4) The
See also:weight of authority both in England and in America supports the view that an expert is not bound to give evidence as to matters of opinion unless upon an undertaking by the party calling him to pay a reasonable remuneration for his evidence . Statutory
See also:provision has beei made in England for the summoning of expert assistance by the legal tribunals in various cases . In the
See also:county courts the
See also:judge may, if he thinks
See also:fit, on the application of either party,
See also:call in as assessor one or more persons of skill and experience as to the matters in dispute (County Courts Act 1888, s .
103), and special provision is made for calling in an assessor in employers' liability cases (act of r88o, s . 6) and
See also:admiralty matters (see County Courts Admiralty Jurisdiction Acts of 1868 and 1869) . In the High Court and court of appeal one or more specially qualified assessors may be called in to assist in the
See also:hearing of any cause or
See also:matter except a criminal proceeding by the
See also:crown (Judicature Acts 1873, s . 56), and a like power is given to both these courts and the judicial
See also:committee of the privy council in patent cases (
See also:Patents, &c., Act1883, s . 28) . Maritime causes, whether
See also:original or on appeal from county courts, are usually taken in the presence of Elder Brethren of the Trinity
See also:House, who advise the judge without having any right to
See also:control or any responsibility for his decision (see the "
See also:Beryl," 1884, q P.D . I), and on appeal in maritime causes nautical assessories are usually called in by the court of appeal, and may be called in by the House of Lords (Judicature Act 1891, s . 3); a like provision is made as to maritime causes in Scottish courts (Nautical Assessors [Scotland] Act 1894) . The judicial committee of the privy council, besides its power to call in assessors in patent cases, is authorized to call them in in ecclesiastical causes (Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876, s . 14) . In addition to the authorities cited in the text, see
See also:Taylor, Law of Evidence (9th ed., London, 1895) ; J . D .
Lawson, Law of Expert and Opinion Evidence (1900) .
EXPERIMENTS WITH DIRIGIBLE
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