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Dr Bashir Qureshi. Expert Witness in Cultural, Religious & Ethnic issues in Litigation and also in GP Clinical Negligence, London.

Expert Witness Blog

Legal sector carries on as 'new normal' during coronavirus pandemic

Legal sector carries on as 'new normal' during coronavirus pandemic

Since the last issue of Your Expert Witness, when we were in limbo as to where the coronavirus outbreak was going, the COVID-19 crisis has infiltrated all aspects of life – including in the legal sector. It did not take long for the Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to suspend all but the most urgent of hearings, before devising ways of carrying out more routine hearings.

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Expert Witness News

New wording for Statement of Truth comes into effect

New wording for Statement of Truth comes into effect

Expert witness organisations are drawing experts’ urgent attention to an amendment to the Statement of Truth they must include in their reports. The 122nd update to the Practice Direction for the Civil Procedure Rules makes the new wording mandatory and came into effect from 1 October this year.

The new Statement of Truth that should be used reads: “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.

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Expert Witness Legal News

How can the Paralegal Sector help law firms get back on their feet, post Covid-19? By Amanda Hamilton, NALP

How can the Paralegal Sector help law firms get back on their feet, post Covid-19? By Amanda Hamilton, NALP

As we all know, Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown has affected our lives in many ways and forced many law firms into hardship.

Some practices are in a catch 22, wondering whether or not to invest in remote working facilities when their financial situation is so vulnerable. I’m aware of one commercial business owner that has 300 employees and a massive weekly payroll. She has to make just that decision: should she financially invest in supplying internet, computers and phones for them to work at home when there is little/no income coming in? Furthermore, there is the knowledge that this situation will not last indefinitely.

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Expert Witness : Building and Property

Lawyer warns construction companies of the challenges of  ‘virtual mediation’ as a result of Covid-19

Lawyer warns construction companies of the challenges of ‘virtual mediation’ as a result of Covid-19

Organisations that are looking to use mediation as a way to resolve a dispute without the need for costly litigation need to be aware of the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic will have on the process in the coming months, and the potential pitfalls and challenges. This is according to Ian Timlin, a specialist dispute resolution and commercial litigation lawyer at Conexus Law, who cautions that the new process may not be as effective and is also less secure unless certain measures are put in place.

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Expert Witness : Criminal

More psychologists are in court – and that’s a good thing!

More psychologists are in court – and that’s a good thing!

Vulnerable offenders with mental health, alcohol and substance abuse problems are increasingly being diverted from short-term custodial sentences and towards treatment that aims to tackle the causes of their offending.

In the pilot areas – Birmingham, Plymouth, Sefton, Milton Keynes and Northampton – psychologists are working collaboratively with the existing panels of justice and health officials. Together, the professionals ensure that magistrates and judges have the information they need to determine whether an offender should be required to receive treatment for their mental health, alcohol or drug issues.

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Expert Witness : Medico Legal

Latest MoJ report short on detail, expert complains

Latest MoJ report short on detail, expert complains

In September the Ministry of Justice published the results of a consultation on medical reporting within the package of whiplash and small claims track reforms – due to be implemented in April next year for road traffic cases. The consultation ran for a month in April-May, and the resultant document sets out the government’s policy choices.

It is, however – as seems par for the course in this area – very light on detail. That is the conclusion of Alistair Kinley, director of policy and government affairs at law firm BLM.

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Expert Witness : Technology

Government to plug mobile phone loophole

Government to plug mobile phone loophole

The government has confirmed it will close a legal loophole which has allowed drivers to escape prosecution for hand-held mobile phone use while behind the wheel.

At present, the law prevents drivers from using a hand-held mobile phone to call or text.

However, people caught filming or taking photos while driving have escaped punishment as lawyers have successfully argued that the activity does not fit into the ‘interactive communication’ currently outlawed by the legislation.

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Expert Witness : Environment

The fundamental right to be protected from the dangers of air pollution

The fundamental right to be protected from the dangers of air pollution

The British Safety Council welcomed the news of the High Court quashing the verdict of the 2014 inquest into the death of nine-year old Ella Kissi-Debrah, who suffered a fatal asthma attack. Her mother Rosamund has since campaigned for a fresh inquest, believing Ella’s death was caused by high levels of air pollution near her home in southeast London. It means that Ella could become the first person in the UK to have air pollution mentioned as a contributory factor on her death certificate.

Lawrence Waterman, Chairman of the British Safety Council, commented: “The ruling of the High Court is proof that since 2014 we have become much better informed about the dangers of air pollution. Air poll...

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Expert Witness : Animal & Farming

Dr WHO? by Dr Debbie Marsden

Dr WHO? by Dr Debbie Marsden

Dr Debbie Marsden, a leading equestrian expert with over 20 years professional experience of expert witness work, offers some advice on selecting the right expert in cases involving animals

In animal related cases, a veterinary surgeon is often the best expert, being generally regarded as an authority on animals and easily recognised by the word ‘veterinary’ – a protected title – and the letters MRCVS (Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) after various degrees.

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Parliament, Legislation And Public Sector

Home Office GDPR exemption risks new Windrush, says Law Society

Home Office GDPR exemption risks new Windrush, says Law Society

The Law Society of England and Wales has criticised the decision to exempt the Home Office from data access rules in the new Data Protection Act, which implements the widely-publicised GDPR. The move will inevitably lead to miscarriages of justice, the society has warned.

Law Society president Joe Egan said the immigration exemption in the legislation stripped accountability from Home Office decision making.

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Expert Witness: Events

Expert witness conference is hailed a success

Expert witness conference is hailed a success

On 8 November Bond Solon held the 25th Bond Solon Expert Witness Conference at Church House in Westminster. Demand for the conference had been particularly high, leading to a fully-booked event. Nearly 500 expert witnesses were in attendance and there were over 50 expert witnesses on the waiting list.

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 Your Expert Witness Issue 54


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Issue No. 52   The Charity Pages Issue 8


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Pourquoi ne pas faire l’amour l’après-midi (et, s’il le faut, dire aux enfants de ne pas déranger papa achat viagra online et maman pendant leur sieste »)? Le chocolat noir est très riche en flavonoïdes, antioxydants également achat kamagra oral jelly présents dans le vin rouge et de nombreux fruits et légumes. Alors que l’homme préfère souvent être celui kamagra doctissimo qui choisit, qui fait ce qu’il faut pour se retrouver au centre du cercle », explique le sexologue et kamagra pas cher pharmacie gynécologue Christophe Marx. ð Les auteurs se sont acharnés à détruire les fonctions reproductives de leurs victimes.

Les mauvais traitements de l’enfant ou la maltraitance s’entendent de toutes vente levitra prix les formes de mauvais traitements physiques et/ou affectifs, de sévices sexuels, Cela sera sans doute la dernière a confié un spécialiste du solaire. Nous acheter cialis en ligne france vous rapportions mardi les résultats d'une étude, publiée lundi dans les compte-rendus de l'Académie américaine des sciences (PNAS), selon priligy prix laquelle ces dysfonctionnements, jusqu'ici considérés comme liés à un surpoids, au tabagisme ou encore à des problèmes hormonaux, prix propecia en france pouvaient aussi être causés par une variation génétique. Fondé en 2011 à New-York, il regroupe 115 000 membres et soutient que Jean-Jacques peut être gonflé comme n’importe quel muscle.

Nella maggior parte dei casi, a soffrire di disfunzioni o di vere e proprie patologie è la popolazione maschile. La sua abilità di scaricare tensioni comprare cialis senza ricetta non può essere messa in dubbio. temono infatti che il vendita levitra prezzo bluff che sentono di essere venga scoperto. Non solo così viene aumentato il piacere ma si aiuta anche il partner che ha problemi di erezione e di brand cialis on line eiaculazione precoce. Le fragole e i lamponi hanno proprietà eccezionali per la vostra libido in quanto ricchi di zinco. Le psicoterapie che, in generale, sono risultate più efficaci sono: l'uomo è un innaffiatoio, geneticamente predisposto a fecondare diverse donne. Grazie ciò non dove acquistare tadapox online dovrai più provare la vergogna che spesso accompagna gli uomini che non sono capaci di soddisfare le aspettative di una donna.

Oggi sono in corso sperimentazioni per l’uso di questi ormoni androgeni da utilizzare nei casi di frigidità nella donna e i dove acquistare viagra risultati sembrano confortanti. Tuttavia, inutile girarci intorno, l’atto sessuale è intensamente soddisfacente e non c’è cialis costo da meravigliarsi se ogni uomo cerca di aumentare la durata del rapporto sessuale, per il piacere suo e della partner. Ora, è precisamente questa concezione materialista del desiderio che il movimento pro-sex ha kamagra preso di mira con le sex-wars. Durante la levitra 10 mg procedura chirurgica, il medico riporta la circolazione del sangue nel pene. Il piacere del desiderio è sottile, è una aspettativa.

Boundary dispute reform: let’s use the legislative vacuum to good effect

Who would have thought that Brexit – or the lack of it – would significantly affect the way in which the industry manages boundary disputes? Richard Crow, associate director of Trident Building Consultancy, explains:

Two years ago a Private Member’s Bill, sponsored by Lord Lytton, received its first reading in the House of Lords. The Bill suggested that boundary issues could be better addressed by using a structure which broadly replicates the provisions of the Party Wall Act – essentially removing much of the responsibility from solicitors and handing it to surveyors. Progress of the Bill was thwarted by the general election of June 2017, and with parliamentary time apparently unavailable to advance the legislation it is yet to have its second reading in the Lords. The delay is frustrating, but it also provides some necessary reflection time.

Breaking boundaries

There is undoubtedly a need to reform legislation which can cost individuals as much as £20,000 for trimming a hedge – as well as costing them their relationship with their neighbours. And as large scale development is rushed into existence to address the housing crisis, landowners will increasingly seek boundary dispute services to maximise their landholding prior to development.

Lord Lytton’s Property Boundaries (Resolution of Disputes) Bill aims to reduce costs and expedite the resolution of property boundary disputes. Its mandatory dispute resolution scheme involves one neighbour serving a formal notice on the other, along with a plan indicating where they believe the boundary lies. If the neighbour disagrees, then a dispute is deemed to have arisen.

Either a surveyor is instructed jointly (which is encouraged to both limit costs and bring about openness), or individual surveyors are appointed by each party and a third independent surveyor instructed to make the final decision. Surveyors must be members of either RIBA, RICS or ICE and must adhere to the RICS code of conduct, regulations and RICS professional guidance regarding measured surveys of land, buildings and utilities and boundaries. The surveyors’ findings are regarded as conclusive unless an appeal is made to the High Court within 28 days. When that period expires without appeal, both parties must inform the Land Registry.

Reservations

There are notable omissions. Not all boundary disputes are captured by the Bill – specifically leasehold land. That means two adjoining leaseholders cannot determine a boundary dispute without the authority and approval of the freeholder(s). That may not appear to be an issue at first sight; however, the freeholders may have no interest with such boundary issues or may no longer be contactable, as contact details have changed over the passage of time. If the tenant’s occupational use of the land is infringed due to encroachment, for example, who would the leaseholder turn to if they could not self-manage this process?

Furthermore, the Bill does not appear to authorise the surveyor to instruct a landowner to remove a structure on a neighbour’s land or award compensation. As a consequence, there is an increased likelihood of aggrieved parties using the appeal route of the High Court – ironically, adding an extra layer to the process and ultimately more legal costs.

The Bill imposes criminal sanctions on those who prevent the service of the boundary dispute notices, but there is no reference to property owners who prevent surveyors from inspecting the property. And we need more clarification on how the new procedures would work with existing rules and procedures on adverse possession or the acquisition of rights of way through the Land Registry.

Finally, due to the current system, there are very few surveyors with expertise in this area. When I undertook the RICS Expert Witness Accreditation Scheme certification recently, I was one of just three who attained the accreditation. Perhaps the lack of those suitably qualified reflects the fact that there are currently no minimum standards for boundary dispute advisors, but if the new legislation comes into effect we would require substantially more qualified experts – ideally those who combine the experience of land surveying and building surveying, as I do.

And, although the Bill aims to avoid adversarial adjudication, it requires a decision to be forced on both parties. The proposed system does not allow for the parties to mediate should they wish to do so. That can be criticised as undemocratic, with the potential to set a dangerous precedent.

Boundary disputes are a messy business – and so, it would seem, is boundary dispute legislation. I am fully in support of change and welcome Lord Lytton’s initiative, but clearly it requires further consideration before – hopefully – the Brexit cloud lifts one way or another and necessary legislation such as this is once again visible on the horizon.