Contents


BC Human Rights Tribunal

Expert Evidence

Expert evidence is evidence that states an expert opinion. It can be in an expert report, or the expert can give evidence (testify) at a hearing.

Usually, the Tribunal will only receive evidence about facts, such as what happened and when it happened. The Tribunal will not consider opinions about those facts unless it is the opinion of an expert qualified to give that opinion.

For example: Evidence about injuries someone saw is about facts.

Evidence that the injuries are unusual is an opinion. It calls for specialized knowledge and must be given by an expert.

When will the Tribunal consider expert evidence?

The Tribunal may consider expert evidence if it is satisfied that:

  1. The evidence is necessary and appropriate, taking into account how the evidence may help the Tribunal in deciding the complaint; and
  2. The expert is qualified to give the opinion.

    This means the witness has acquired special or peculiar knowledge through study or experience about the matters the witness will give evidence about.

    Note: Rule 21(7) of the Tribunal’s Rules says that a written statement of an expert’s qualifications is proof that the expert has those qualifications, unless there is evidence to the contrary and a Tribunal member finds otherwise.

Disclosure requirements

Rule 21 of the Tribunal’s Rules requires you to provide the other parties with a copy of an expert report and/or summary of an expert opinion 90 days before the start of the hearing.

If you receive another party’s expert report and/or summary, you have 30 days to deliver an expert report and/or summary in response.

If you want to reply to the response, you must promptly contact the Case Manager for instructions.

What if I want to cross-examine the other party’s expert on their report?

You must deliver a notice to the other party within 30 days of receiving the report telling them you require the expert to testify.

Note: Rule 21(6) of the Tribunal’s Rules says that the Tribunal may order costs against a party who requires an expert to testify if the testimony does not materially add to the expert report.