Subject to the costs of the work proposed being reasonable, we will grant an application and detail the cost limit and the specific work items approved where it is shown that the work meets one or more of the following criteria:
We will look at whether the type of expert and level of expertise is reasonable and appropriate e.g. where the employment of a specialist medical consultant is requested to comment on a matter that could be addressed by the applicant’s GP.
Where we have questions regarding the work items requested, we will continue the application for clarification.
Funding for the purchase of equipment or software for an expert is not a reasonable charge on the Legal Aid Fund and any grant of prior approval will be part granted minus the cost of the equipment.
The location of the court is relevant in terms of costs for any court attendance therefore Scotland based experts are preferred. However, there are cases, notably those involving alleged non-accidental injuries to children where the defence commonly have to source experts based in England or outwith the UK. Where the expert is based outwith the UK, we may make the grant conditional on the expert giving evidence in court by video link. This would also apply to pre-trial consultations.
Approval for an expert witness
Additional guidance on specific expert witnesses – defence post mortems, drug experts, psychologists, psychiatrists, forensic accountants