Expert Evidence and Criminal Jury Trials: The Results of Empirical Research in Australia

Posted by Barbara Etter APM on 17 March 2016 | 0 Comments

Just received my copy of the newly published Expert Evidence and Criminal Jury Trials by Ian Freckelton QC, Jane Goodman-Delahunty, Jacqueline Horan and Blake McKimmie (Oxford University Press 2016). I have met Ian Freckelton at a number of forums and had the good fortune to meet Jacqueline Horan at an Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences function in Melbourne late last year.

The book draws upon unprecedented empirical research carried out in three Australian jurisdictions. The experiences of real jurors, judges, lawyers, and experts regarding the expert evidence presented to them across a range of 55 criminal trials are analysed and compared in order to illuminate how complex and sometimes conflicting evidence is perceived and understood within adversarial trial systems.

The study challenges courts, jury trial practitioners, and law reformers to reframe current discussions surrounding expert evidence, including different criteria for the admissibility of experts' opinions.

The book covers the issue of DNA in some depth with Chapter 6 dedicated to this important issue.

As the book states in its introduction, evidence misunderstood or misconstrued has the potential to lead to miscarriages of justice.

Will read this one with great interest.

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