Expert evidence in criminal procedures

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Decisions in criminal cases are regularly founded upon expert evidence. However, it is not a self-evident that experts should be involved in criminal cases. Wrongful convictions, for example in the Schiedam park murder case, raise the question whether expert evidence in criminal cases is used rightfully. The purpose of the information of expert is after all that the right decision will be taken. With the Expert Witness in Criminal Cases Act the legislator gave a reaction to the discussion about the use of expert evidence in the Dutch criminal procedures. Did the legislator succeed in designing the criminal procedure in such manner as to enlarge the contribution of expert evidence to the quality of decision making as much as possible? Or can the use of expert evidence be improved upon?

In this research there are some problems observed with the use of expert evidence in the Dutch criminal procedure. Therefore, recommendations for improvements are done, based on the use of expert evidence in the legal procedure of England and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and on the insights about the use of expert evidence from philosophy, sociology and argumentation theory. These recommendations see to the involvement and the research of experts, to the presentation and disputation of expert evidence and to the assessment of the expert evidence by the judge and the motivation of his decisions. Application of the recommendations will reduce the likelihood of a wrongful conviction through the use of expert evidence.
Translated title of the contributionExpert evidence in criminal procedures
Original languageDutch
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Keulen, Berend, Supervisor
  • Prakken, Henry, Supervisor
  • Kwakman, Nicolaas, Co-supervisor
Award date1-Jun-2017
Place of PublicationOisterwijk
Print ISBNs9789462403895
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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