What Constitutes an Expert Witness?
Expert witnesses need legal expertise.
Expert witnesses are called upon to explain matters within their expertise to the courts. They are instructed by the defence or prosecution teams or, in the case of civil claims, legal representatives acting for the claimant or the defendant, but vitally remain impartial with their duty being to the Court rather than the person instructing them.
Experts and their evidence are governed by the Criminal Procedure Rules Part 33 and the Civil Procedures Rules Part 35, which are supplemented by the Guidance for the Instruction of Experts to give Evidence in Civil Claims, issued by the Civil Justice Council. Experts must be able to demonstrate that they comply with and have a full understanding of the necessary protocols.
Being an independently vetted member of the UK Register of Expert Witnesses since 2008 and with an officially checked listing in the Sweet & Maxwell Expert Witness Directory since 2012 means that David can keep up to date with the latest developments for experts.
What Constitutes a Dog Expert?
A dog expert needs a solid grounding in the subject.
David was a police dog handler and instructor for 27years, training dogs professionally every day until retiring from the service in 2007. He is a Home Office Accredited Police Dog Instructor and a Home Office Accredited Explosives Search Dog Instructor (the highest possible police dog training qualifications). He also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling, with distinction, from Southampton University achieved in 2002. This unique combination of practice and theory provides David with the necessary expertise to advise the Courts on dogs and their behaviour.
To remain an expert you have to stay at the cutting edge of the profession.
David was granted Certification as a Clinical Animal Behaviourist by the prestigious Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour in 2008 – “Clinical” to differentiate from “theoretical” and “experimental” behaviourists. David now sits on the Accreditation committee.
From 2009 to 2012 David was the chairman of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors, the UK’s leading organisation for professionals dealing with problem behaviour in pets on veterinary referral. He remains active on the association’s business committee.
David currently lectures to students on Newcastle University’s MSc in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, providing him with the opportunity to discuss the most recent research into animal behaviour. He also works with local rescue organisations assessing dogs for safety and rehoming, maintaining the highest level of academic theory with practical expertise.
David works with the RSPCA Companion Animals Department, in 2010 writing their definitive guide on aggression in dogs, used in various publications and their website FAQs, and presenting their “Guidance for handling dogs” at the National 2012 Status Dogs Summit.
In 2013 David is providing a canine behaviour module to police officers attending Dog Legislation Officer Courses.