22nd Annual Bond Solon Expert Witness Conference

By Gilles de Courcel
EEEI’s Member and Ricol Lasteyrie Founding partner – Deputy Chief Executive Officer

The 22nd Annual Bond Solon Expert Witness Conference was held on Friday, the 4th November 2016, at the Church House Conference Centre, London.

Around three hundred (300) expert witnesses have participated to this remarkably organized Conference, both through its logistics and tthe diversity of the speakers (Programme).

We can highlight the diversity of specialities from the different attendees, with a particularly strong presence of experts from the medical community surgeons, dentists, neurologists, cardiologists, midwives, …

The keynote address was delivered by Sir Adrian Fulford, Lord of Justice, in his capacity,of Judge in charge of Technology.

Information Technologies (IT) play a key role in the reflections and actions of the British Justice. It is a huge stake since the ongoing Court Reform Programme - under Sir Fulford responsibility - aims to bring the British Justice in the world of the 21th Century.

That morning, the orator addressed an enthusiastic message the United Kingdom is strongly and fully committed towards e-justice that should be quickly followed by a paperlerss system, which will lead to an important and fundamental change in the way experts testify, particularly with the increasinguse of video systems to give expert evidence.

The message is clear, it echoes the one delivered by Lord of Justice Fulford recent report on the future of the civil courts the United Kingdom must develop online courts.

A large part of the other speeches were dedicated to the very interesting analysis on recent case law, and to thematic workshops in connexion with theexperts attendees different specialities.

But another key moment of the day was the Judge Wall QC address during a plenary session on the subject « Primers – replacing experts? ».

A « primer » is a very short document (about 10 pages long) setting out the basis of a particular science or expertise. Its aim would be to enligthen the Judge on the noncontreversial aspects of a question.

For judge Wall QC, the « primer » is not aimed to nor will replace the expert, but more to better clarify and limit the judge expectation regarding the expert task in accordance with the tribunal requirement.

In a nutshell, a particularly rich conference and an excellent opportunity to meet and talk with British experts from whom we can learn a lot.

Next annual conference will be held in London on Friday 10th November 2017.