Expert Evidence in Australia: A More Transparent Path Post-Dasreef
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
ECU Security Research Institute
In 2011 the High Court of Australia handed down what has become a seminal decision in Australia on the admissibility of expert evidence in Dasreef Pty Ltd v Hawchar (2011) 243 C.L.R. 488 (Dasreef). The case has had significant impact and been applied extensively. The paramount concern of the Australian courts post-Dasreef has been to focus rigorously on the criteria for admissibility in s.79 and their forensic application, as emphasised by both the plurality decision and the minority decision of Heydon J. The numerous Australian cases post-Dasreef in diverse jurisdictions demonstrate an exacting approach to s.79 criteria and also an expectation, and requirement, by the courts that experts will provide a transparent pathway for their reasoning. This approach has provided a highly robust basis for expert evidence in civil cases in Australia post-Dasreef and it is anticipated that it will continue its landmark influence in the future.