How competent are expert witnesses?

Around 20 per cent of psychologists acting as expert witnesses for the family courts are not qualified, according to a Channel 4 News investigation broadcast tonight, writes producer Phil Carter.

The findings are based on research published on Wednesday for the Family Justice Council (FJC). It was led by Professor Jane Ireland, a forensic psychologist at the University of Central Lancashire.

Prof Ireland and her team were given unprecedented access to psychologists’ expert witness reports from three undisclosed courts across England by the FJC, an arm’s length body of the Ministry of Justice.

Prof Ireland told Channel 4 News: “You should never be in a position where you diagnose somebody, or make judgements on them, if you haven’t seen them. It goes completely against code of conduct and ethics and it is impossible. You can’t do a paper assessment on a human being, you have to meet that person, understand their interactions, build a rapport and then take your judgement on the basis of that.”

Yet, despite the concerns over assessing people without ever actually seeing them, it seems that courts are willing to accept such reports.

You can watch the entire programme by clicking the following link: http://www.channel4.com/news/how-competent-are-expert-witnesses

Now that Anne and Hollie have been forced back into the family courts with a case brought by Shropshire Council on the basis of one of these made up reports, this aspect of the secret courts at least has made it into the main stream media.

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2 thoughts on “How competent are expert witnesses?

  1. about time msm started to tell the truth about this secret, unjust, imoral system we call justice, im a relative newcomer to hollie’s army, and must admit i was very ignnorant of what goes on and has now been exposed by hollie, anne, and roberts brave campaigne, how can anyone possibly justify even one case of destroying a family without being at least 150% sure its the right thing for all concerned is totaly beond me. and the fact that a so called expert can condemn hollie’s or anyone elses abilaty to think for herself without even bothering to met her, is totaly inexcusable, i was at the royal courts of injustice on the 2 march and found it a real eye opener, and hope to make the event at parliment next week to show my support, love to hollie and your mum, and ovcourse your champion, robert.xx

  2. Wake up folks!

    The MoJ is absolutely rotten to the core. That is not to say there are not upright judges who do their job properly or to the best of their ability but when the MoJ is instructed to produce a corrupt judgement, be absolutely 100% certain the corrupt judge and his corrupt assistants will be wheeled out for the occasion and believe me they have no shortage of them. We could name dozens!

    Hollie has, in all innocence, pointed the finger at one of their number so behind closed doors, in traditional knee jerk reaction, the stonewalling decision has been made and only when they realise they have dug a grave are they ever likely to (as in the words of the Legal Aid Board in a case known to us) “…stop digging a hole for themselves.”

    We know of cases that would shock to the core but we can’t share due to being threatened with jail, simply for having the information and having the potential means to distribute such.

    Given Robert has been willing to go that extra mile, it will only be by continually Naming and Shaming that this case will ever be satisfied.

    As each new corrupt action is taken in this affair and observed by more and more decent folk across the globe, their being able to observe the Scottish and British legal establishment subjected to a dissection and see therein, the maggot filled, festering pus, that constitutes Scottish administration and their supporters south of the border, is anything likely to be done but guess what, the answer will almost certainly be: “We need to be more careful next time” the fundamental problem being that the office bearers ego’s far exceed that of their actual intelligence.

    Let’s be honest, it’s not just the legal establishment but almost every facet of Scottish administration that stinks to high heaven, whether it be local government, the employment tribunal, the appeals tribunal, the ombudsman’s service, the civil service, the MoD, you name it – every aspect!

    Independence for Scotland?

    Let us observe the St Andrews Cross formally become the Square and Compass and as for the Lion Rampant? Nothing new there:

    The lying IS rampant but why not a new Motto to go with it:

    The old “In My Defens God Me defend” (because the administration sure won’t) could be superseded with a more salient version, such as: “Corruptus F***us”.

    Apologies for the language but when exhuming a decaying corpse, why not call a spade a spade.