Civil legal expert examination in Finland: Situation
Extract from the final Eurexpertise report
All rights reserved EEEI © 2012
- Alix LOUBEYRE, Doctoral student
Separate administrative jurisdiction
I. Procedural rules in calling for an expert examination
I. 1) On the initiative of
Expert-witness system (party expert), but the judge can decide to call for an expert if an issue must be resolved based on “a professional’s specific knowledge”.
I.2) Mandatory expert examinations
I. 3) Decision-maker
I.4) Is a pre-trial expert examination possible?
II. Choice and appointment of the expert(s)
II. 1) Register
II. 2) Oath
Yes, at each mission unless the expert is a civil servant
II. 3) Choice of the Expert
In a specialised field, “a person who is known to be competent and honest”
II. 4) Participation by the parties in the appointment process
II. 5) Nationality
II. 6) Recusal by the litigant parties
II. 7) Expert’s withdrawal (refusal of a mission)
Yes, namely for reasons of conflict of interests or to ensure observance of professional secrecy.
II. 8) Possibility of adding another expert
II. 9) Possibility of being assisted by a colleague
III. Definition of the expert’s mission
III. 1) Who determines the mission?
The judge if he has appointed himself
III. 2) Type of mission
IV. Progress of the expert’s mission
IV. 1) Judge supervision
Yes, the judge asks the questions which the expert must answer and determines the deadline within which he must submit his report.
IV. 2) Form of contradictory procedure
The parties may request that the expert comes before the Court
IV. 3) Participation in the hearing
Yes, on request.
The expert report must generally be read, in whole or in part, during the hearing.
V. Close of the expert examination
V. 1) Does conciliation put an end to the expert’s mission?
V. 2) Form imposed on the report
Written: the expert must give a detailed report of his results and of the actions carried out to achieve these results.
V. 3) Does the report put an end to the expert’s mission?
V. 4) Is there an imposed structure for the report?
V. 5) Is a preliminary report mandatory?
V. 6) Is the judge bound by the expert’s conclusions?
No. The expert examination is an element of proof among others, based on the principle of “free
evaluation of evidence” by the judge.
V. 7) Possibility of a second opinion
VI. Funding for the expert examination
VI. 1) Security-Payment
Yes, at the judge’s request, paid by the party that requested the expert opinion, or in certain cases by the national treasury.
VI. 2) Determining the amount of payment due
By the party.
VI. 3) Possibility of additional payment
VI. 4) Determining fees and costs
By the judge “of reasonable fees and of reimbursement of the expert’s expenses”
VI. 5) Possibility of contesting the fees
VII. Expert liability within proceedings
VII. 1) Are there any laws governing expert examinations?
Yes, Chapter 17, Sections 44 to 55 of the Code of Judicial Procedure
VII. 2) Expert liability
VII. 3) Mandatory insurance for the expert
VIII. The expert’s status
VIII. 1) Existence of selection criteria (accreditation)
NO, there is no register
VIII. 2) Classification of skills
VIII. 3) Required qualifications
Assessed in concreto by the judge
VIII. 4) Grant of accreditation
VIII. 5) Possibility of accrediting a legal person
VIII. 6) f) Validity period for the accreditation
VIII. 7) Regular assessment tests
VIII. 8) Supervision of the expert’s mission
VIII. 9) Expert’s activity report
VIII. 10) Code of ethics
VIII. 11) Good practice
VIII. 12) Possibility of penalties
VIII. 13) Laws governing the expert’s status