Admissibility of Expert Opinions on Eyewitness Evidence: International Perspectives: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v Walker92 A 3d 766 (2014)Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Eastern DistrictCastille CJ, Saylor, Eakin, Baer, Todd, McCaffery, Melvin JJ

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Abstract

The courts of the United Kingdom and Canada have largely been averse to the reception of expert evidence that commentates upon the risks and potential deficiencies of eyewitness identification. Australian courts have trodden a somewhat unclear middle path. However, United States courts have latterly been amenable to some degree to the reception of such evidence. The decision of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v Walker, 92 A 3d 766 (2014) is the latest (albeit with a strong dissent) to join the majority position in the United States, allowing such evidence in certain circumstances. This article reviews the bases for the different approaches adopted in the various jurisdictions and identifies areas upon which further research will be constructive in bringing about a consistent position internationally on the issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-836
Number of pages16
JournalPsychiatry Psychology and Law
Volume21
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • credibility
  • evidentiary admissibility
  • expert evidence
  • eyewitness identification

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