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Decision of the High Court of Australia in Dasreef Pty Ltd v Hawchar
Engineering and Construction
Pages 12 (3012 words)
The decision of the High Court of Australia in Dasareef Pty Ltd v Hawchar  HCA 21 handed out on 22 June 2011 involves the admissibility of expert evidence of Dr Basden for the side of Hawchar in evidence of his having contracted silicosis during his employment with Dasareef Pty Ltd…
Sections76-80 of the Evidence Act 1995 NSW deal with opinion evidence (Evidence Act 1995). Section 79 provides for expert evidence as opinion based on specialised knowledge although there is no expression of the term ‘expert’ (Ying, 2005, p 76). Section 177 of the Act provides for an expert evidence to be given in the form of certificate with the expert’s name and address and his signature affirming that he possesses specialised knowledge acquired through study, training or experience as mentioned in the certificate.
The certificate should claim that his expert opinion contained therein is based on such knowledge through study, experience or training. This could serve as admissible evidence without the expert attending the court unless the opposing party requires him to tender evidence in person at the court and be subjected to cross-examination. If , after tendering of the evidence by the expert in person , the court feels that there was no need for his personal appearance to tender evidence, costs may be imposed on the party who made such a request for being awarded to the expert (Ying,2005,p78). In fact, the expert evidence is one of the exceptions to the opinion rule as evinced by the section 76. Evidence law does not allow opinion of a witness unless he/ she is an expert in the relevant field. Other witnesses may only testify to the facts as to their existence without being qualified by their opinion.
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