CHANGES COMING INTO FORCE IN OCTOBER 1: CHANGES TO THE STATEMENTS GIVEN BY EXPERTS

The 122nd update Practice Direction Amendments come into force on the 1st October 2020. We have already looked at the changes to the rules relating to proceedings for contempt.  Here we look at the change relating to the declaration that an expert witness has to give.

AN ADDITION TO PRACTICE DIRECTION 35

The Practice Direction introduces the amendments to the statement of truth as to knowledge of contempt of court to expert reports.

“PRACTICE DIRECTION 35 – EXPERTS AND ASSESSORS

1) In paragraph 3.3, at the end of the statement of truth insert “

“I understand that proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against anyone who makes, or causes to be made, a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth”

 

THE NEW DECLARATION IN FULL

There is nothing to prevent a party from adopting this wording now.  Most reports served at this time, in most civil proceedings, will not reach court until after October 1st.  There is no suggestion that reports using the “old” declaration will be nugatory, however it will be prudent to point out the new requirements to all experts in ongoing cases.

“I  confirm that I have made clear which facts and matters referred to in this report are within my own knowledge and which are not. Those that are within my own knowledge I confirm to be true. The opinions I have expressed represent my true and complete professional opinions on the matters to which they refer. I understand that proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against anyone who makes, or causes to be made, a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth”