EXPERT WITNESS TRAINING PROGRAM - 2022

EXPERT WITNESS TRAINING PROGRAM
2022

Date & location TBC

Important Update: From January 2022, the Expert Report Writing course will be a mandatory prerequisite to this Expert Witness Training Program.
We encourage all to plan ahead to complete both courses as the program will build on each other.

COURSE OVERVIEW

Aim
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.

Learning Outcomes
- 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. 

Lectures
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. 

Pre-submitted Reports
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.

Moot Court
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.

TEACHING FACULTY

TBC for the next course

PROGRAM

Download the previous (2021) program below. This program may change.

COURSE PREPARATION

Pre-Reading
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
- Code of Conduct example
- Psychiatrist as Expert Witness (Relevant to psychiatrists only)

Pre-disposing Activity: Submitting a Report/Statement
Students must submit via email to aclm9@legalmedicine.com.au:

1. A de-identified medical report/statement

2. An overview of your report using the attached proforma.

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 or please consider attending ACLM’s Expert Report Writing course.

FEES

2021 Fees: (subject to change)

AUD $950 ACLM members (inc. GST)

AUD $1,150 Non-members (inc. GST)

RACGP CPD POINTS

RACGP Activity No. 216610 allocated 15 CPD points in the RACGP CPD program for the 2020-22 triennium.

CANCELLATION POLICY

TBC for the next course

COVID-19 SAFETY

TBC for the next course