Bandoni & Milic 2015 FamCA 693
The case involved a situation where a father was charged with sexual assault of a child and was subsequently acquitted.
The father sought to discharge the current Court appointed single expert witness who provided two reports and had made some change of opinions between the reports after reviewing additional material. The judge found that while the conclusions of a single expert in an additional report may be adverse to the interests of the father in his relationship with the child, this does not amount to bias. The judge found that the opinions expressed by the expert were not outside of his area of expertise, and the single expert was not attempting to take on or to usurp the judge’s role as the trier of fact.
The judge noted that the single expert could be cross examined. The judge ruled that opinion evidence was not excluded simply because it goes to a fact in dispute as the Court is not bound by the opinion of the single expert. The judge found that the willingness of the expert to recognise the impact of further information was a positive indication of the open and impartial approach brought to the task.
The father’s application was dismissed.