Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
There has been much recent media attention on the use of expert witnesses (forensic experts) in all types of courts and tribunals in many jurisdictions. In particular, there are concerns about how it is possible to determine whether those who identify themselves as experts are indeed experts. Although this question is far from resolved, for most jurisdictions, the court itself will make the decision about the acceptability of an expert's status. In the United States, Federal Rule of Evidence (FRE) 702 states that a witness may qualify as an expert based on knowledge, skill, training, experience, or education. These qualities are those that, in broad terms, are used when accepting that an individual has the status of “expert” in other jurisdictions. The problem that arises is that experts may come from many different professions or backgrounds, and a judge is generally reliant on the individual's own description of her knowledge, ...