Giving evidence in court

Giving evidence in court

As a professional witness you may attend a case in court and you may be required to provide a professional witness statement. A professional witness is a person who is deemed to have a professional qualification and has some direct professional involvement in the facts of the case. A professional witness does not interpret the facts or offer a personal/professional opinion unless asked to do so by the court. BVA provides advice on being a professional witness.

An expert witness is one who gives relevant testimony from within their field of expertise and only from within their field of expertise. That witness may be a professional person such as a veterinary surgeon, but could be from any trade, or even someone with a unique knowledge of a set of circumstances that a member of the general public will not have. An expert witness gives an opinion to the court, often based on the factual evidence supplied by other witnesses.

Last revision: 2010
Edition: 1
Publisher: BVA
Number of pages: 6
Format: PDF

This guide contains:

  • Definitions of an expert witness and a professional witness
  • Requirements when attending a case
  • Information about your professional witness statement
  • Tips about your appearance in court

The RCVS Code of Professional Conduct, support guidance 22, provides advice on giving evidence for court and the difference between witnesses of fact or opinion.

British Veterinary Forensic and Law Association

British Veterinary Forensic and Law Association aims to develop the interest and expertise members in all areas where the law affects the Veterinary Profession and act as a bridge between the legal and veterinary professions.

Free legal helpline for BVA members

Whether you're studying to become a vet or planning to retire, BVA offers support to members at every step with our free legal support services. This includes the free legal helpline - for professional and personal issues.