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Article

Interrogating the Role and Value of Cultural Expertise in Law

Department of Anthropology and Sociology, School of Oriental and African Studies, London WC1H OXG, UK
Received: 2 October 2020 / Revised: 24 November 2020 / Accepted: 24 November 2020 / Published: 30 November 2020
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: cultural expertise; expert evidence; judges; barristers; appellate courts cultural expertise; expert evidence; judges; barristers; appellate courts
MDPI and ACS Style

Campbell, J.R. Interrogating the Role and Value of Cultural Expertise in Law. Laws 2020, 9, 29. https://doi.org/10.3390/laws9040029

AMA Style

Campbell JR. Interrogating the Role and Value of Cultural Expertise in Law. Laws. 2020; 9(4):29. https://doi.org/10.3390/laws9040029

Chicago/Turabian Style

Campbell, John R. 2020. "Interrogating the Role and Value of Cultural Expertise in Law" Laws 9, no. 4: 29. https://doi.org/10.3390/laws9040029

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