Protecting children and young people: The responsibilities of all doctors

Doctors giving evidence in court

Key points - chapter 9

  • The first duty of all witnesses is to the court.
  • Give evidence that is impartial, honest and not misleading.
  • Only give testimony and express opinions about issues that are within your professional competence.
  • Work within the timescales set by the court.

Acting as an expert witness


Doctors who act as expert witnesses can play an important role in the justice system.  The quality and reliability of expert medical opinion can make a critical difference to the fairness of the decisions and outcomes of any proceedings. If you are asked to act as an expert witness in a child protection case, you must follow the guidance in Providing witness statements or expert evidence in legal proceedings.