The general rule

The general rule is that opinion evidence is not admissible. Witnesses are normally confined to stating facts reason being that the desecration of forming opinions is stipulated in Rule 6024 as to include knowledge and expertise of a person. There are instances where the matters in issue are far from the adjudicator’s experience. In such instances the case of Folkes V. Chadd5 the opinion of experts in a particular field is held to be admissible. The question to be determined from the foregoing is then which persons can be stated to be expert within the legal preview.

An expert within the legal preview and the provisions of the federal rules of law is a highly qualified person with extensive knowledge and expertise in a particular field. Thus the absence or lack of any of the foregoing constituents makes a person not fall within the category of an expert. This view is sin tandem with that held in the case of R V. Silverlock6 where judges were not content with the absence of formal qualifications of an expert. In reference to the foregoing requirements it is the responsibility of expert witnesses to consider their opinion in court as to be that of a sui generic nature.

They should thus conduct conclusive research in the areas where an issue is disputed in court (Autospin (oil seals) Ltd V. Beehive spinning)7 and give opinions that are independent without any bias8. An expert’s evidence should be based not only on facts but on experience and information obtained from other sources9. It can thus be concluded from the foregoing that in reference to the question at hand the professor of material science (1) and the chemist who specializes in analyzing bricks and painting (4) would constitute under the legal definition.

Thus their opinion would be admissible as it depicts a tendency that would have an impact on the material fact. Any statement made otherwise than by a person whose giving oral evidence in proceeding tendered as evidence constitutes of merely hearsay. The general rule promulgates that hearsays are not admissible10. In Myers V. DPP11it was established logical statements that were made as to constitute important information that would likely alter the views of the jury in relation to material fact constituted of hearsay and was therefore inadmissible.

Similarly in the case at hand the expert in public opinion polling who conducted survey from people would not form part of expert evidence and his statements as such would constitute of hearsay and therefore not be admissible. (2) In efforts to protect the accused in the due process before arrest three important rules are to be mentioned, The presumption of innocence on legal guilt , the privilege against self incrimination and the requirement of reasonableness on those exercising power .