Thursday, 27 October 2016

On Tuesday, the Federal Court of Australia revoked and replaced all of its Practice Notes with immediate effect. Of particular interest to us is the new Expert Evidence Practice Note (GPN-EXPT) and its annexures: the Harmonised Expert Witness Code of Conduct (Annexure A) and Concurrent Expert Evidence Guidelines (Annexure B).

Much is unchanged: for example, most of the required contents of an Expert’s Report. But the new Practice Note includes extensive provisions on joint expert conferences and reports; and on concurrent evidence. We welcome this new guidance.

The Federal Court is not the first national tribunal to deal with these issues in a guideline: the AAT issued one last year. But the Court’s new guidelines are significant, and it will be interesting to see whether State jurisdictions will follow.

The Practice Note can be found here.