Expert witness immunity: Journal of Law & Medicine

The Journal of Law and Medicine (Thomson Reuters) has today kindly published an article by Tina Cockburn and me: Expert witness immunity in Australia after Attwells v Jackson Lalic Lawyers: A smaller and less predictable shield? (2017) 24 JLM 628.

The abstract reads:

Expert witnesses act as “injury brokers” in contributing to the analysis of what qualifies as legally recognised and compensable injury in medical negligence litigation. The orthodox approach in Australia is that expert witnesses, like advocates, are immune from suit in negligence. In Attwells v Jackson Lalic Lawyers Pty Ltd (2016) 90 ALJR 572; [2016] HCA 16, the High Court of Australia upheld, but narrowed, advocates’ immunity. This article outlines the decision in the Attwells case and after reviewing Australian authority on expert witness immunity argues that, given the recent narrowing of the scope of advocates’ immunity, similar limitations are likely to be placed on the scope of expert witness immunity with two effects – it will be less commonly available and less predictably available.


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