UK Abolishes Expert Witness Immunity for Civil Litigation

Australia’s Clayton Utz recently published this interesting article on the UK’s high court abolishing expert witness immunity for civil cases. The article cites the key cases, and issues that remain open. The article also notes that it’s not yet known if Australia will follow the same path.

A key cite and excerpt from the article are set out below:

"A recent UK decision has abolished the long-standing protection given to experts against immunity from legal suit arising out of giving evidence or participating in civil proceedings.

The UK Supreme Court decision of Jones v Kaney [2011] UKSC 13 has removed the immunity from suit expert witnesses have traditionally enjoyed in the UK in giving evidence and providing advice in civil proceedings. The decision does not directly impact on expert witnesses in Australia, but experts and those giving instructions to experts should be aware of the reasons for the decision lest the decision reignite the debate about the retention of an expert’s immunity."

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About Kirk

Since becoming a lawyer in 1983, Kirk’s over 30 years of practice have focused on advising a wide range of corporations, associations, and individuals (as both plaintiffs and defendants) on both tort and commercial law issues centered around “mass torts.”

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