At first sight, English and French law incorporate scientific or technical knowledge into court proceedings in very different ways. The former resorts primarily to party experts whose knowledge is tested through cross-examination. The latter makes use of "experts judiciaires", i.e. court experts selected by the judge from a pre-established official list. However, historical as well as recent evolution show that those obvious differences should be put into perspective - the English single joint expert shows, for instance, many similarities with the French expert judiciaire. The enduring discrepancies subsist rather within the principles guiding the trial process, the search for an idealised truth and the means of achieving it. Whereas French lawyers worry about a delegation of the jurisdiction to the expert, English lawyers tend to focus on a pursuit of unbiased and competent expertise.

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Please note that IECL discussion group meetings are normally open only to researchers affiliated with the IECL or members of the Oxford Law Faculty. If you have a special interest in one of the topics being discussed and would like to request being admitted to the event as an outside guest attendee, please get in touch with Professor Birke Häcker in advance of the meeting.

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