Skip to main content

Expert Evidence in Civil Law Systems

  • 251 Accesses


Expert evidence has an indisputable role in all types of legal proceedings. Its regulation in the field of civil law is governed by some common parameters. However, there are also important differences that make it difficult to articulate a common European framework that allows the integration of the different legal experiences and overcomes the difficulties that block the European mobility of experts and recognise expert opinions with origin in other countries. This chapter aims to show the common elements that characterise expert evidence in civil law and, at the same time, to highlight the regulatory differences that need to be overcome in order to achieve a true harmonisation that will contribute to European procedural unification, especially concerning who has the initiative to propose taking expert evidence, how experts are selected, how evidence is submitted and, finally, the probative value of expert opinions and their influence on judicial decisions.


  • Appointment of the expert witness
  • Civil law
  • Civil law systems
  • Expert evidence assessment
  • Expert evidence
  • ex officio evidence
  • Expert evidence practice
  • Expert evidence proposal
  • Expert witness
  • Witness

This piece of research shows part of the results of the research project DER2017-87516-P (funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness).

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-84330-4_4
  • Chapter length: 20 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
USD   129.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-84330-4
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD   169.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)


  1. 1.

    Original version: ‘Cuando el testigo posea conocimientos científicos, técnicos, artísticos o prácticos sobre la materia a que se refieran los hechos del interrogatorio, el tribunal admitirá las manifestaciones que en virtud de dichos conocimientos agregue el testigo a sus respuestas sobre los hechos.ʼ

  2. 2.

    The Spanish system of technical assistance is somewhat peculiar concerning that in other European countries that are analysed here since defence and procedural representation are split up and attributed to different subjects: the lawyer (defence) and the court attorney (representation).

  3. 3.

    The guidelines are available at:

  4. 4.

    Original version: ‘(…) la educación resulta necesaria. Sin ella existirá siempre el riesgo de aceptar como conocimiento sólido lo que en rigor tiene escaso fundamento, o de terminar haciéndoles decir a los datos arrojados por las pruebas lo que no dicen ni pueden decir, con lo que la justicia de la decisión puede quedar comprometida. Sin educación la base cognoscitiva de la decisión judicial se debilita y el riesgo de error se hace más fuerte.ʼ


  • Ansanelli, V. (2019). L’utilizzazione della prova scientifica nel proceso civile. Cenni di Diritto comparato. Rivista di Diritto Procesuale, 4–5.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bujosa Vadell, L. (2017). La prueba pericial en la jurisprudencia del Tribunal Europeo de Derechos Humanos. In J. Picó i Junoy (Ed.), Peritaje y prueba pericial. Bosch Editor.

    Google Scholar 

  • Champod, C., & Vuille, J. (2011). Scientific evidence in Europe—Admissibility, evaluation and equality of arms. International Commentary on Evidence, 9(1), 1–68.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Cortés Domínguez, V., & Moreno Catena, V. (2017). Derecho procesal civil. Parte general. Tiran lo Blanch.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gascón Abellán, M. (2016). Conocimientos expertos y deferencia del juez (apuntes para la superación de un problema). Doxa. Cuadernos de Filosofía del Derecho, 39.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gascón Inchausti, F. (2017). ¿Hacia una armonización de la prueba pericial en Europa? In J. Picó i Junoy (Ed.), Peritaje y prueba pericial. Bosch Editor.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lösing, N. (2020). La prueba pericial en el proceso civil alemán. In J. Picó i Junoy (Ed.), La prueba pericial a examen. Propuestas de lege ferenda. Bosch Editor.

    Google Scholar 

  • Murray, P. L., & Stürner, R. (2004). German civil justice. Carolina Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Peiteado Mariscal, P. (2017). Obtención de prueba pericial en la Unión Europea. In J. Picó i Junoy (Ed.), Peritaje y prueba pericial. Bosch Editor.

    Google Scholar 

  • Popa, G., & Necula, I. (2013). Study on expert status in the European judicial system, AGORA. International Journal of Juridical Sciences, 3, 161–168.

    Google Scholar 

  • Solaro, C., & Jean, J. P. (1987). El proceso penal en Francia. Jueces para la Democracia, 2.

    Google Scholar 

  • Taruffo, M. (2008). La prueba. Marcial Pons.

    Google Scholar 

  • Timmerbeil, S. (2003). The role of expert witnesses in German and U.S. civil litigation. Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law, 9(1), 163–187.

    Google Scholar 

  • Vázquez Rojas, C. (2014). La Prueba pericial. Entre la deferencia y la educación. Girona: Universitat de Girona.

    Google Scholar 

  • Yein Ng, G. (2014). Study on the role of experts in judicial systems of the Council of Europe Member States. CEPEJ-GT-QUAL(2014)2Rev, Strasbourg, September 1.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mercedes Fernández-López .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Fernández-López, M. (2022). Expert Evidence in Civil Law Systems. In: Guillén-Nieto, V., Stein, D. (eds) Language as Evidence. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-84329-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-84330-4

  • eBook Packages: Social SciencesSocial Sciences (R0)