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Experts must be Neutral (LASHIN v. RUSSIA)

This case which was in the European Court of Human Rights was recently pointed out to me.

Paragraph 87 states:
The Court reiterates that where the opinion of an expert is likely to play a decisive role in the proceedings, as in the case at hand, the expert’s neutrality becomes an important requirement which should be given due consideration. Lack of neutrality may result in a violation of the equality of arms guarantee under Article 6 of the Convention (see, mutatis mutandis, Sara Lind Eggertsd├│ttir v. Iceland, no. 31930/04, § 47, 5 July 2007, with further references). In the Court’s opinion an expert’s neutrality is equally important in the context of incapacitation proceedings, where the person’s most basic rights under Article 8 are at stake.
It is, of course, obvious that this is the case under UK law. However, assessments by employees of the local authority continue to be relied upon in family court cases of all sorts. There is additionally the repeat player prejudice problem with the joint appointment of experts. It is, however, important to remember that an assessment by a social worker who deems that grandparents in their 50s are too old to care for a baby is an experts report that must have neutrality.

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R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

I have only just found this one which I think is accurately reported below (but if it is not please give me an accurate report).

KING’S BENCH DIVISION

R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

November 9 1923

Editor’s comments in bold.

Here, the magistrates’ clerk retired with the bench when they were considering a charge of dangerous driving. The clerk belonged to a firm of solicitors acting in civil proceedings for the other party to the accident. It was entirely irrelevant that there had been no evidence of actual influence brought to bear on the magistrates, and the conviction was duly quashed.

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It is clear that the deputy clerk was a member of the firm of solicitors engaged in the conduct of proceedings for damages against the applicant in respect of the same collision as that which gave rise to the charge that the justices were considering. It is said, and, no doubt, truly, that when that gentleman retired in the usual way with the justices, taking with him the…