Book Release: A Practical Guide to the use of Expert Evidence in Criminal Cases by Richard Padley

In recent times the use of expert evidence has hit the headlines when scrutiny over the expert’s qualifications and experience has undermined the credibility of their evidence.

This has rapidly become an area of law that practitioners cannot afford to get wrong.

This book takes the practitioner through all stages of the process from initial identification of the need for expert evidence, through to maximising the benefit of this evidence at trial. It considers the practical steps required for adducing expert evidence at trial (noting the appropriate procedure rules and practice directions), and how this can most appropriately be presented to the tribunal (including references to key authorities as appropriate).

Further this book also provides the practitioner with an overview of several different common fields of expertise including, the use of psychiatric evidence and mental health disposals available to the court, cell site evidence and DNA. It aims to provide the practitioner with a level of understanding of these fields that can be used to build confidence when tackling an expert report and challenging an expert in court. With that in mind it suitable for both junior practitioners coming across these areas of expertise for the first time and seeking to build their knowledge afresh, as well as the more seasoned practitioner seeking to refresh their knowledge as well as understanding some of the greater detail surrounding the various fields of expertise.

  • Chapter 1 – An Introduction to Expert Evidence – What is an expert report? Who can be an expert? The independence of expert witnesses
  • Chapter 2 – The use of Expert Evidence in Criminal Proceedings – covering case management, unused material, the presentation of expert evidence in court, directing the jury
  • Chapter 3- The use of Psychiatric Evidence in the Criminal Justice System – fitness to plead, insanity, appealing these findings, remand for the purposes of obtaining expert evidence.
  • Chapter 4 – Disposal of Cases involving elements of Mental Health Treatment – section 37, 41, and 45A orders, guardianship orders, mental health treatment requirements.
  • Chapter 5 – Digital Forensics – the principles for obtaining digital evidence, powers to obtain digital material from within the UK and from abroad, principles of examining devices for digital material, issues arising from the disclosure of digital material.
  • Chapter 6 – Cell Site Evidence – What is it? How it can be used? What are its limitations? How can it be challenged?
  • Chapter 7 – An introduction to Forensic Science – How does forensic science fit within the criminal justice system?
  • Chapter 8 – Fingerprint Analysis – Recovering and examining fingerprints; cognitive bias in fingerprint examination.
  • Chapter 9 – Firearms – analysis of firearms and ballistics; rifling and the identification of firearms; firearm discharge residue.
  • Chapter 10 – The use of DNA in Criminal Proceedings – an overview of the science; sources of DNA; interpretation of DNA; establishing the evidential significance of a match; the prosecutor’s fallacy; limitations of the science
  • Chapter 11 – The use of statistics in forensic science – random match probability; liklihood theory; bayesian theorem; statistical evidence in court.
  • Chapter 12 – General tips when using expert evidence

Available at:

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