Improving standards of expert witness evidence in Scotland

Improving standards of expert witness evidence in Scotland

The first Scottish university-certificated training programme for expert witnesses is to be launched by Bond Solon and the University of Aberdeen.

An expert witness give expert evidence in court proceedings based on their specialist knowledge gained through education and training, qualifications and experience.

Expert witnesses need the qualifications and experience in a specialist field to enable them to give expert evidence and also the skills needed to be an expert witness: how to write a court compliant report, how to give oral evidence and the law and procedure relevant to experts.

There have been several cases in the past where expert witnesses have been shown to be incompetent or even dishonest. This new course is designed to address such problems.

Emeritus Professor Margaret Ross of the University of Aberdeen said: This is the first university certificated expert witness programme in Scotland. The Certificate enables experts to demonstrate to both instructing solicitors and the courts that they have been assessed and hold the core and requisite competencies to act as an expert witness.”

Mark Solon, Solicitor, and founder of Bond Solon said: “Courts, lawyers and the public need expert witnesses who are competent to provide truly independent opinion evidence on the technical issues that frequently arise in litigation. Until now, there has been no formal certified training for experts who give evidence in the Scottish legal system. The new University of Aberdeen Bond Solon Expert Witness Certificate programme now provides such training."

The programme will be officially launched virtually on Thursday September 10 at 4.45pm. 

Bond Solon has been training expert witnesses in England and Wales for over 25 years. A similar programme will now be available in Scotland tailored to the Scottish legal system. 

The free virtual launch event will be held virtually via Zoom. It will last about 20 minutes and includes contributions from the Lord Advocate of Scotland, Lisa Henderson QC and Paul Mosson, Law Society of Scotland.