Expert Opinion and Legal Considerations

Living reference work entry

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This chapter provides practical assistance to experts who may be required to give evidence in court. It explores the development of law and rules that apply in several jurisdictions. In particular, the legal principles are examined in the context of an Australian jurisdiction which is at the forefront of the relatively new practice in this area – concurrent expert evidence. Important elements are the reliability of expert opinion, the source of knowledge, training and experience, as well as procedural aspects. It is prepared as at October 2016.


Opinion evidence Court rules Litigation Concurrent evidence 



Concurrent evidence

A procedure where experts in the same field, each separately qualified by the parties to litigation, give evidence jointly as a panel in court. They identify areas of agreement and disagreement in a joint report before trial. At trial each expert comments on the opinion of the other experts and advocates for the parties also question them. The judge acts as a chairperson and ultimately decides the issues.

Court rules

Rules of procedure applied to court proceedings.


The process of dispute resolution by the members of courts or tribunals based upon admissible evidence presented by advocates for the parties to the dispute.

Opinion evidence

Evidence based upon a person’s trainingstudy or experience. It is given initially in writing by an expert and subject to oral or written review by peers, court advocates, and judges based upon applicable court rules


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Barry Nilsson LawersSydneyAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Andrew McIntosh
    • 1
  1. 1.CremorneAustralia

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