CYPRUS: Guidance on the issue of independency of expert witnesses
The well-known aspect of independence and objectivity in expert witness has once again been confirmed in the recent case of EXP v Barker ( EWCA Civ 63)together with the importance of full and frank disclosure at early stages of the proceedings of any connection which might be perceived to affect an expert's evidence, being amongst others perhaps the existence of any conflict of interest. Without going into the analysis of the factual background of the case, the judgment of the Court of Appeal highlights the significance of impartiality and independence in the selection of expert witnesses and the fact that lawyers will need to make full and frank disclosure in case of any conflict of interest arising, since failure to do so, may lead to the dismissal of the expert evidence which can cause a negative effect on the party’s case.
The above issue of independence can also be applied in terms of presentation of expert reports attached to applications before the courts particularly where a party selects a given expert and it is shown on the face of it that the report is not as independent as it should be, perhaps being prepared after the presentation of the facts by the particular party which is one sided and without providing the clear picture of the case. This can lead to the opposing party raising such an issue before the judge and reliance on the expert report could even be dismissed or not to be taken to account heavily. This therefore would lead to a negative impact on the party’s case especially in circumstances where reliance on the expert report is highly important to the issues presented by the party.