EXPERT EVIDENCE: THE TYPES AND ROLES OF EXPERTS IN TRIAL PROCEEDINGS
Expert witnesses are individuals who have specialized knowledge, skill, or expertise in a particular field and are called upon to provide testimony in a trial. They give evidence to help the court understand complex or technical concepts that are relevant to the case.
Section 68 of the Evidence Act, 2011 provides that when a Court has to form an opinion upon a point of foreign law, or of science or art, or as to the identity of handwriting or finger impressions, the opinions of persons specially skilled in such foreign law, science or art, or in questions as to the identity of handwriting or finger impressions are relevant facts. Therefore, the opinion of an expert is admissible.
The Supreme Court in Omisore v Aregbesola (2015) 15 NWLR Part 1482 Page 1 at302 Para B-F defines an expert as “a person who, through education or experience, has developed a skill or knowledge in a particular subject that he or she may form an opinion that will assist the factfinder. An expert is one who has made the subject upon which he speaks, a matter of particular study, practice or observation, and he must have a particular and special knowledge of the subject"
Expert witnesses are typically called upon to provide evidence in trial proceedings, the specific type of expert witness needed in a case will depend on the nature of the evidence being presented. Some common types of expert witnesses include:
1. Medical experts
2. Forensic experts
3. Engineering experts
4. Financial experts
5. Psychological experts
6. Digital forensics experts
7. Environmental experts
Getting an expert witness to give evidence might be adaunting task, considering the issues of expert search, the dearth of experts in a field, the unavailability of experts, and logistics issues.
Nonetheless, the Learned Friends are working to simplify the task of procuring the services of experts for trial proceedings by providing a one-stop shop for browsing, engaging, and leasing with experts for your legal matters. All you have to simply do is browse through the collated list of experts and select the areas that match your requirements on the Learned Friends platform. This service will be available shortly. sign up now at www.thelearnedfriends.com to be the first to hear when it is available.