26 & 27 March 2022 - Melbourne, Victoria
EXPERT WITNESS TRAINING PROGRAM
26 & 27 March 2022
(Basic live streaming available - see below)
Registration is now open!
Spaces will be allocated on a first paid, first served basis. If you choose to pay via direct bank transfer, please do so immediately and send a confirmation of your payment to email@example.com. Otherwise your spot will be released to another paying customer.
If you have any trouble with submitting this form, please email us immediately to request to secure a spot - firstname.lastname@example.org
By registering, you confirm that you have read and accept the Cancellation & Remote Attendance Policy and all other course information on this page.
The aim of this course is for health care practitioners to develop the skills required to provide evidence to the Court as an expert witness.
- Describe the roles and responsibilities of the various members of the legal profession involved in the court process.
- Write an expert medicolegal report that satisfies the requirements of the Court.
- Differentiate between ‘hearsay’, fact and opinion as forms of evidence.
- Plan and prepare to provide oral evidence in the courtroom.
- Integrate the theory provided in the prereading and interactive lectures with the practical delivery of expert evidence via role play (Courtroom Moot).
- Show the ability to describe a technical medical issue to lay people, avoiding the use of medical jargon.
About the Course
Legal Medicine encompasses the interchange between medicine and law and nowhere is this more apparent than when clinicians are invited to provide expert witness testimony. This is provided as either the treating clinician or to provide an independent assessment of a circumstance within the domain of the clinician’s expertise.
Being an expert witness requires providing a report and/or attending a court or tribunal and is often stressful for the clinician concerned. The Australasian College of Legal Medicine (ACLM) runs an Expert Report Writing Course and Expert Witness Training Program to familiarise medical professionals as to what is required within such situations.
ACLM’s Expert Report Writing course is strongly recommended as a precursor to the Expert Witness Training Program for those who have limited experience in writing expert reports.
The Expert Witness Training Program includes didactic lectures to offer advice as to what is expected of the expert by the instructing solicitor, the barrister and the adjudicator (such as the judge). It instructs the clinician how to behave within set situations. There is also provision of didactic / interactive advice from an experienced expert witness.
Each participant is expected to submit a de-identified Court-ready report at few weeks prior to the course. These reports are critically marked to provide advice as to how they can be improved and they serve as a basis to be led and cross-examined in a moot (a mock trial) involving real lawyers in a courtroom environment. This introduces the participants to all facets of expert witness training with the aim of both meeting the expectations of the legal profession while concurrently not ignoring that which is due to the expert by way of compensation and consideration. If you have limited experience with writing expert reports, please attend ACLM’s Expert Report Writing course prior to attending this Expert Witness Training Program.
The Moot Court is based on the case reports/material submitted by each candidate which the ‘expert’ marks and provides to each of the barristers and the judge before the day. The barristers alternate between leading and cross examining.
Before each candidate enters the witness stand they are asked to give an overview of the material facts of the case in which they are appearing as a witness, in order for the audience to understand the nature of the case.
After each moot, the performance of the candidate is openly discussed with all participants invited to comment and a summary given before the start of the next case. The marked copies are returned to the candidates upon completion of the course.
TBC for March 2022.
Download the 2022 program below. (This program may change.)
Location / Delivery Method
This course, including Lectures & Moots, will be delivered as traditional face-to-face learning in Melbourne, Victoria. Exact venue TBC.
It is anticipated that travel will be possible by March 2022, both within Australia and from some overseas countries. The nature of this particular course is very interactive, and the best quality of learning will be experienced by attending in person. Therefore all registered participants should plan to attend the course in person, in Melbourne.
However we understand that COVID-19 is unpredictable, and it is possible that some participants will not be able to travel to Melbourne for unavoidable reasons. Therefore we are planning to stream the entire Melbourne program via video link to any students who could not attend for specific approved reasons related to COVID-19. For more information please see below.
The ACLM Expert Report Writing course is a pre-requisite to attend the Expert Witness Training Program.
The following materials will be sent to students once their registration is confirmed:
- How to Prepare a Report - Prof Roy Beran
- Giving Expert Evidence in Court - Dr Don Buchanan
- Psychiatrist as Expert Witness (Relevant to psychiatrists only)
- Australian Codes of Conduct for Expert Witnesses. https://expertsdirect.com/expert-witness-code-of-conduct-2/
- New Zealand Code of Conduct for Expert Witnesses. https://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2016/0225/latest/DLM6953324.html
- Freckelton I. Expert Evidence: Law Practice, Procedure & Advocacy, Thomson Reuters, 6th Edition, 2019
Pre-disposing Activity - REQUIRED
Students must submit at least 3 weeks prior via email to email@example.com:
1. A de-identified medical report/statement
2. An overview of your report using the proforma supplied.
Your report will be critically marked by the course facilitator and used in the mock trials so that each participant will have the opportunity to be cross examined in a court-room style scenario.
If you have not previously written a report/statement, you may create one based on your own clinical experience.
AUD $950 ACLM members (inc. GST)
AUD $1,150 Non-members (inc. GST)
A refund less $150 administration fee will be provided for all cancellations received at least 14 days prior to the course start date. Any cancellations after this point will be non-refundable.
If a situation occurs in Victoria which significantly affects all attendees’ ability to attend in person, the course will either be postponed to a later date or may be held entirely online, as was successfully done in 2021. Any such decision will be communicated to all attendees as soon as possible if this circumstance arises. By registering, you agree to attend the course virtually on the same dates, should this circumstance arise.
It is anticipated that travel will be possible by March 2022, both within Australia and from some overseas countries. The nature of this particular course is very interactive, and the best quality of learning will be experienced by attending in person. Therefore all registered participants should plan to attend the course in person.
If you cannot attend in person due to:
- Government imposed travel restrictions, border closures or lockdowns including lengthy quarantine requirements
- Travel ban by employer
- COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms at the time of the event
Then you will be offered either:
- A credit note to attend the next available course, or
- The option to attend remotely.
What will remote attendance be like?
Remote attendance will likely involve:
- The Melbourne program will be live streamed via video link to remote attendees (likely via Zoom).
- Didactic Lectures: Remote attendees will see and hear only the lecturer. Audience questions / comments may not be heard. Remote attendees will not be able to participate in discussions. Slides may not be seen clearly, but will be circulated via email for your reference.
- Live Moots: Remote attendees will see and hear the speakers during the moot and in the discussion time after (Facilitator, Judge, Barristers and Expert on the stand). Audience questions / comments may not be heard.
- A virtual moot via Zoom will be scheduled at a later date for all remote attendees to perform. We will plan to hold this within 2 weeks following the live course.
The above outline is a guide only and may change based on technology available at the selected venue.
To request remote attendance
Please send a signed letter to ACLM stating the reason you are unable to attend in person. Due to the ever changing nature of COVID-19, we will assess requests on a case by case basis, with most requests assessed within 2 weeks of the course.
RACGP Activity No. 216610 allocated 15 CPD points in the RACGP CPD program for the 2020-22 triennium.
Information coming soon once the venue is confirmed.