Pora v Regina: PC 3 Mar 2015

Court of Appeal of New Zealand – the defendant appealed against his conviction (after two trials) for rape and murder. He said that hos confession should not have been admitted, being unreliable, and that evidence should have been admitted that another man had already been convicted of a rape on the woman on the same occasion. A psychiatrist had given expert evidence as to its reliability but had gone beyind that to say that it was unreliable.
Held: The expert witness had exceeded his power. It remained for the fact finding cort to reach such conclusions. That remained the case notwithstanding the Evidence Act 2006 of New Zealand. That Act had not operated to displaced the common law rule that forbade evidence being given as to the ultimate issue.
‘It is the duty of an expert witness to provide material on which a court can form its own conclusions on relevant issues. On occasions that may involve the witness expressing an opinion about whether, for instance, an individual suffered from a particular condition or vulnerability. The expert witness should be careful to recognise, however, the need to avoid supplanting the court’s role as the ultimate decision-maker on matters that are central to the outcome of the case.’

Lord Kerr, Dame Sian Elias, Lord Reed, Lord Hughes, Lord Toulson
[2015] UKPC 9
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedKennedy v Cordia (Services) Llp SC 10-Feb-2016
The appellant care worker fell in snow when visiting the respondent’s client at home. At issue was the admission and status of expert or skilled evidence.
Held: Mrs Kennedy’s appeal succeeded. ‘There are in our view four considerations which . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Evidence

Updated: 28 December 2021; Ref: scu.543787