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Practice Note #12 –
Expert Witnesses

Adobe icon Practice Note #12 – Expert Witnesses PDF (177KB)

1. Purpose

The purpose of this Practice Note is to set out the role and eligibility of witnesses with specific knowledge and an expertise in a specialized field.

2. Background

A party may choose to present an expert witness to review and assess the facts regarding a request for review. The expert delivers his or her opinion and provides hypotheses regarding the facts in a request for review. During the hearing, an expert witness is called when the evidence involves technical or scientific characteristics.

The Tribunal may also choose to rely on an expert witness who would provide clarification(s) for the Tribunal in its decision making. This duty takes precedence over the interests of the parties. The expert must therefore carry out their mission objectively, impartially and rigorously.

3. Statement

The expert whose services are retained by a party or by the Tribunal must avoid acting as the representative of a party and must refrain from commenting on the rules of law.

For the expert testimony to be admissible, the Tribunal must declare it as “expert” in his or her specialty. More specifically:

For this competency to be established by the Tribunal, the expert must provide the Tribunal and the parties with his or her curriculum vitae. The expert must also testify to his or her qualifications, competencies and experience in the field of expertise relating to the facts of the request for review.

4. Approval

Practice Note #12 is approved by the Tribunal’s Chairperson on September 28th, 2020.

Luc Belanger signature

Luc Bélanger
Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal