Request for sight of procedures relating to scrutiny of court-appointed expert witnesses

The request was partially successful.

Dear Ministry of Justice

Please provide sight of current procedure(s) or confirm that no procedure exists in respect of:

1. The provision of due diligence in the appointment and engagement of expert witnesses, to include CV checks, photo ID authentication, and relevance of professional background to the case.

2. The provision of registration, scrutiny, and governance over agencies brokering the services of expert witnesses.

3. The provision of due diligence over conflicts of interest relating to expert witnesses and related agencies.

4. The adherence of 1, 2 & 3 above to ISO 9001 procedural standards.

Yours Faithfully

David Gale

Disclosure Team, Ministry of Justice

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Operations Directorate HQ, Ministry of Justice

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Gale,

 

Please find attached the response to your recent Freedom of Information
Act request, reference number: 200721003.

 

Thank you.

Kind regards,

Mr C Egginton

HMCTS Operations Directorate 

 

[1]HMCTS_BLK_DIGI

 

[2]Coronavirus (COVID-19): courts and tribunals planning and preparations

 

[3]Here is how HMCTS uses personal data about you

 

 

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Dear Ministry of Justice,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Ministry of Justice's handling of my FOI request 'Request for sight of procedures relating to scrutiny of court-appointed expert witnesses'.

[ The MoJ has stated that it holds no information relevant to my request but, at the same time, has cited CPR Part 35 practice directions. Clearly, it is the court that appoints expert witnesses and, clearly, there are no due diligence procedures in place within CPR.

Please confirm therefore that no office or body under MoJ or HMCTS jurisdiction has any form of due diligence procedures related to the appointment of expert witnesses and, in that event, what procedure(s) will be triggered within the MoJ to highlight this deficiency?]

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/r...

Yours faithfully,

David Gale

Operations Directorate HQ, Ministry of Justice

1 Attachment

 

Dear Mr Gale,

 

Please see attached response to your request for an internal review of the
initial decision on your Freedom of Information request,

 

Kind Regards

 

J Rice

 

HMCTS Operations Directorate

 

For information on how HMCTS uses personal data about you please see:
[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...

 

[2]Coronavirus (COVID-19): courts and tribunals planning and preparations

 

 

 

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Dear Operations Directorate HQ

Thank you for your response.

I note that the confirmation that "the MOJ and HMCTS have no procedures which can be triggered to highlight the fact that it is not involved in the appointment or scrutiny of expert witnesses", and the impact of the MoJ's claimed inability to input into practice directions.

I note too that the MoJ's previous referral to CPR evidences what are now known to the MoJ as serious procedural inadequacies.

In the light of information gathered from the General Medical Council and the police, which confirms growing numbers of reports of identity theft and fraud in relation to court-appointed expert medical witnesses, I am bound to conclude from your response that the MoJ is content to walk away from a situation where serious criminal fraud is facilitated by inadequate court procedures.

As things stand, my local authority's waste collection service has better scrutiny and governance procedures applied to it than those related to court-appointed expert witnesses. The MoJ may wish to consult with its lawyers to better understand its statutory obligations.

Yours sincerely

David Gale