The project Find an Expert II – FINDEXII
The Find an Expert I project was conducted from 2017 to 2019 and concluded with the publication on the e-Justice portal of information sheets on expertise procedures in the various European States. The Find an Expert II project is now its successor, pursuing the general objective of harmonizing and improving expertise in Europe. This two-year project was proposed to the European Commission (DG Justice) and accepted in October 2021. It will run from March 2022 to February 2024. The funding provided by the EC is €364 176 64.
The project is based on the following statement: Although judicial experts play an indispensable role in civil and criminal justice, there is no common definition of “judicial expert” (also called “expert witness” or forensic expert) across Europe. Court mostly rely on the result of the expertise when rendering their decision. It is of crucial importance for a fair justice in Europe that experts giving their opinion to courts meet basic professional principles such as competence, independence, impartiality, and integrity as well as a minimal level of professional standards.
Another essential aspect is the possibility for the court to select the “right” expert, i.e., the one that will be able to answer the court’s question on a given case quickly and efficiently.
In order to enhance and converge these aspects throughout Europe, EEEI and EuroExpert as both major European actors of expertise propose to work on:
- A common understanding of expertise and the use of experts in the judicial field,
- Convergence of nomenclatures, i.e. the lists of expertise fields,
- Requirements of a future IT-search tool for expert.
The project includes six “Work Packages” dealing with the following aspects:
- Project Management & Coordination
- Convergence work national registers
- Nomenclature convergence
- Conference of consensus
One of the highlights will be the consensus conference, which will take place in a big European city in spring 2023. The essential aspects developed in work packages 1 to 4 will be discussed in order to find a consensus.
The pilot Member States are Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Italy, Poland, and Romania.
The project’s major outputs will be:
- A definition of the minimum criteria for a person to qualify as a “judicial expert”, in terms of competence, specific knowledge on procedural rules and ethics;
- A list of standards to be met by bodies in charge of keeping experts’ directories in each Member State
- A business plan for creation of the European register of judicial experts and operating it;
- Convergence ways between the nomenclatures of experts’ specialities of the Member States, up to the definition of a process allowing the existence and maintenance of a common nomenclature of the fields of expertise at the EU level;
- A demo IT-tool based on 6 pilot Member State in order to interconnect national lists and to implement a European search engine for judicial experts, including a proposal to ensure the sustainability of the project.