Communication between Courts and Expert Witnesses

Within the Swedish legal system an accepted view is that the purpose of consulting an expert witness is that the court shall get a better basis for decision-making (Edelstam, 1991). Thus, there is an expectation that the expert's testimony (written and/or oral) shall add something to the legal process. With this perspective in mind, a smaller sample of the cases was explored with regard to the interplay between experts and courts (Gumpert and Lindblad, 2001). This analysis revealed signs of impaired communication between these two parties; for example when expert evaluations did not focus issues relevant to the legal process, or when the court appeared to have misunderstood the message from the expert.

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