Types of Law

Our psychologists, psychiatrists, independent social workers and paediatricians are confident and articulate professionals, trained and experienced in making the right impression in court.

As medico-legal experts, their reports and verbal testimony enable judges and juries make the right decision when specialist knowledge is needed.

They have authority borne from both years of experience at the forefront of their respective fields, as well as their expert witness work.

You can search for an expert witness or download our full directory.

types of law

Carter Brown experts provide evidence for many different types of English law, including:

 

FAMILY LAW

A father, daughter and random teddy

Family law is often the most fraught and complex types of law, dealing as it does with the deepest emotional ties.

It’s not as simple as the adversarial duality of criminal court: often judgements have to be decided on the balance of probabilities and in the best interests of an individual, as opposed to determining whether someone has violated the law. It is the proverbial “can of worms”.

For that reason, family law judgments are often assisted by reports and/or testimony from expert witnesses who are experts in psychology, psychiatry, paediatrics or social work: naturally the kind of knowledge and experience that is beyond that of the court.

Here are a few examples of the kind of expert witness reports we provide, please see our types of expert page for more detail.

  • Personality assessments
  • Parenting
  • Cognitive testing
  • Mental health
  • Mental capacity
  • Domestic violence
  • Substance misuse and addiction
  • Trauma
  • Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Learning disabilities
  • Placement options

 

CRIMINAL LAW

Criminal law: a person in handcuffs

An expert witness’s evidence in a criminal law case can be equally important in its potential to change lives.

In other ways it’s different to family law: the expert witness is instructed by the defence or prosecution to provide a report that strengthens their case or weakens the opposition’s case. The expert witness’s report need not be disclosed to all parties like in family law – if a report doesn’t help promote the instructing party’s desired outcomes, it need not be shown to the court.

Much of the work of our expert witnesses for criminal law concerns people’s motivations: for example, were they aware that they were committing a crime, or understand the situation they are in?  Other common assessments would be our fitness to plead and capacity to instruct assessments, which are about people’s understanding of the legal process.

Please see our types of expert page for more detail, but common criminal law assessments might include:

  • Child abuse
  • Non-accidental injury
  • Psychosis
  • Fitness to plead
  • Mental capacity
  • Risk of offending
  • Vulnerable witnesses/defendants

 

IMMIGRATION/ASYLUM

A map of the UK and an EU passport

Many people are forced to leave their home behind and are fearful about their future. They may have been victims of torture and fear for their lives and the lives of their family if they have to return home.

In order to explore the possible psychological/ psychiatric impact for an individual of returning to their native country or leaving the UK, we can provide a variety of assessment services.

Areas which can be covered include:

  • Assessment of IQ/Mental Capacity
  • Psychological impact of deportation
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Victims of torture
  • Domestic violence
  • Psychiatric assessment
  • Diagnosis and treatment recommendations
  • The short/long-term effects of deportation or detention

Our expert witnesses produce reports which offer meaningful opinions and are evidence-based.

Our assessments can be tailored to client’s individual needs: for example, we recognise that some conventional assessment tools are not appropriate for use with some clients due to the cultural norms around which they are formulated.

Many of our experts specialise in providing cross-cultural assessments and are highly experienced in working alongside interpreters, ensuring that the client’s viewpoint can be represented as fully as possible within their report. Some of our experts are fluent in a second (or third language) and where this is deemed appropriate, assessments can be completed in the client’s mother tongue.

We have also had a number of experts travel abroad to make assessments; please see our international social work page for more details.

 

 

 MENTAL HEALTH TRIBUNALS

A panel of experts write at a desk

Individuals experiencing difficulties with mental ill health retain the right to have their cases presented and assessed in a straightforward manner.

We’re pleased to work alongside those acting on behalf of individuals detained under the Mental Health Act 1983, as amended 2007, providing a quality assessment service with integrity and professionalism at its heart.

Our experts are able to provide independent assessments of an individual’s mental health and to give evidence to 1st tier tribunals, where required.

We have a number of highly experienced psychiatrists who work within a variety of settings across both the NHS and private sector. They are Section 12 (2) approved practitioners, who have shown a high level of expertise within their field, working with clients with a range of diagnoses and presentations.

Our experts are able to:

  • Advise on an individual’s diagnosis
  • Provide treatment recommendations
  • Advise on appropriateness of medical treatment
  • Comment upon the suitability of a change in care setting, for example, to supervised community treatment
  • Conduct psychiatric risk assessments
  • Provide advice around the activities of daily living and how these are incorporated into a client’s care package

We will deal with all enquiries swiftly and mental health tribunal reports can often be completed quickly, sometimes within two weeks of receipt of instructions. We have a number of safeguards in place to ensure that reports are provided well in advance of any hearing date set.

To discuss your case requirements, contact our Referrals team on 01623 661089.

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