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Experts and expertise in the Land and Environment Court


White, R, Experts and expertise in the Land and Environment Court, Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, 49, (4) pp. 392-402. ISSN 0045-0618 (2016) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2016 Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences

DOI: doi:10.1080/00450618.2016.1218544


This article considers issues and questions pertaining to ‘expertise’ and the role of ‘experts’ in determining the extent, nature and type of environmental harm in criminal cases heard in the New South Wales Land and Environment Court (NSW LEC). The discussion is based on examination of 14 cases involving criminal proceedings for offences against the Native Vegetation Act 2003 (NSW) and 18 cases involving criminal proceedings for offences against the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NSW). The article considers issues pertaining to how the Court establishes who is or is not an expert and in what area and with what skills; how the expertise is manifest in specific types of data collection and presentation of evidence; and instances where evidence is contested, including between prosecution and defence and between the Court and prosecution/defence experts. It was found that the NSW LEC weighs up matters of expertise carefully and intentionally, in ways that simultaneously demonstrate a fundamental ‘environmental literacy’ amongst the judiciary.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:environment court, experts, evidence, thresholds, basis test
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Criminology
Research Field:Courts and sentencing
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Justice and the law not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:White, R (Professor Rob White)
ID Code:112135
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2016-10-27
Last Modified:2017-06-26

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