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Campbell, John (2020) 'Interrogating the Role and Value of Cultural Expertise in Law.' Laws, 9 (29). pp. 1-23.

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It is common for litigation to draw upon expert evidence to assist a judge to arrive at a balanced decision. This paper examines the role of one type of expert evidence submitted to courts, namely cultural expertise (CE), which provides information on socio-cultural issues such as kinship, family, marriage, customs, language, religion, witchcraft and so on. This type of evidence is primarily the result of qualitative, ethnographic research. I begin by examining the views of experts who have provided CE to courts/mediators; I then look at how judges view and make use of CE, and finally I examine lawyers’ views on CE. To address gaps in published research, I interviewed British barristers to understand how they make use of experts in the cases they litigate. Finally, I have surveyed legal decisions made by all British appellate courts to arrive at an approximate idea of the extent to which CE has been submitted in English and Welsh courts. I conclude that the extent to which CE—and other types of socio-legal evidence—is submitted varies considerably depending upon the legal/evidentiary procedures followed in different jurisdictions and in different countries

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: cultural expertise, expert evidence, judges, barristers, appellate courts, Europe and North America
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Anthropology & Sociology
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
ISSN: 2075471X
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2020 16:01

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