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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 221-228

On trends of the role transition from expert assistant to expert witness


1 Collaborative Innovation Center for Judicial Civilization and the Key Laboratory of Evidence Science, China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing, China
2 Institute of Evidence Law and Forensic Science, China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing, China

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Baosheng Zhang
Collaborative Innovation Center for Judicial Civilization and the Key Laboratory of Evidence Science, China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing 100088
China
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_43_18

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In the context of Chinese evidence law, the role of the expert assistant is to “offer opinion on the forensic expertise or specialized issues.” This role is multiple-facet, somewhat similar to a lawyer's role, and to some extent similar to that of a forensic expert or a witness. For this simple reason, the views on the legal status of opinions of the expert assistant also vary from “cross-examination method,” “forensic expertise” to “witness testimony.” This confusion regarding the role of the expert assistant often results in difficulties in deciding whether to admit the expert assistant opinion as evidence at trial. The regulation that the expert assistant opinion “can be taken as evidence for determining facts of a case after cross-examination” stipulated in Paragraph 2 of Article 15 of the Supreme People's Court Interpretation of the Law in the Conduct of Environmental Civil Public Interest Litigations promulgated in 2015 could be seen as trends of a transition in the role of the expert assistant towards that of the expert witness. This article attempts to analyze reasons, significance, and prospects of such a transition, and give suggestions to improve the application of examination rules for the expert witness and admissibility rules for scientific evidence.


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