Supporting expert witnesses

The Chair of the British Psychological Society's Expert Witness Advisory Group writes.

I have been Chair of the Society’s Expert Witness Advisory Group (EWAG) for just over a year and wanted to let the members know a little bit more about us, what we’ve been doing and what we can do to support members.

EWAG has been in existence under the aegis of the Society’s Professional Practice Board for over 10 years. Its current membership was appointed at the end of 2016 and is made of psychologists representing the varied and different disciplines within applied and academic psychology, all of whom have a vast amount of experience as expert witnesses working within criminal justice settings in England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.  

We are keen to provide a service to members and act as a true advisory group. To this end we want to discover what more the Society can do to support psychologists who work or would like to work as expert witnesses. There will be a survey released in December to help us understand more about how the Society can support psychologist expert witnesses. Look out for the survey on the website and please take a few minutes to complete it.

Because the law is complex and the work of a psychologist expert witness is often challenging and terrifying, as well as rewarding, EWAG has produced Psychologists as Expert Witnesses: Guidelines and Procedure for Psychologists, which is available free from the Society’s website (https://beta.bps.org.uk/psychologists-expert-witness). Psychologist expert witnesses and those interested in working as expert witnesses are encouraged to download a copy of this valuable guidance. Note that a new version of this document is about to be made available (and may already be available using the same link by the time this letter is published). The update will reflect changes in context, practice and the law since the original publication, incorporating recent changes in legislation in the civil, criminal and family courts and the expectations of psychologist expert witnesses.

EWAG has a wealth of knowledge that members can call upon. If you have a question about being an expert witness, you can e-mail [email protected] and your queries will be answered by the advisory group.

I look forward to chairing the group as we continue to support members.

Professor Leam Craig
Chair, Expert Witness Advisory Group

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