These days it seems like everyone is an expert in something. But when it comes to court proceedings, who actually qualifies as the expert witness? TV courtroom dramas portray the expert witness as someone generally brought in to assist juries in grasping complex, technical concepts.
Although not all instances requiring an expert witness are reminiscent of courtroom dramas, the role of an expert witness is precisely that.
The Arborist As An Expert Witness
Arboriculture is a curious combination of legal expertise and academic qualifications. Practical application can significantly affect the calibre of advice a level 5 Arborist can offer in legal proceedings or when it comes to decoding bureaucratic red tape.
Whether employed as council employees or at a consulting level, arborists are being engaged as expert witnesses in many courts and tribunals throughout the country.
Arborists may be called as expert witnesses in various matters across many jurisdictions, such as:
- Arborists are often engaged in planning appeals and vegetation matters on proposed development sites.
- Arborists as expert witnesses may be engaged in civil cases regarding personal or work-related injuries sustained as a result of tree failures. These actions may be handled in District Court or even the Supreme Court.
- Similarly, arborists may be summoned to testify in criminal proceedings involving occupational health and safety violations or unlawful damage to native protected vegetation.
- Arborists may be engaged in proceedings brought under the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006 in New South Wales.
Advantages Of Engaging An Expert Witness
Engaging a consulting level Arborist as an expert witness has numerous advantages when it comes to bureaucratic issues surrounding urban forests, native vegetation and environmental planning. An AQF level 5 Arborist keeps the whole picture in mind, speaking on behalf of the trees and native vegetation concerned as well as keeping the progress and safety of proposed developments in mind.
The advantages of engaging a consulting level arborist are numerous. You can rest assured they will:
- Remain centred on their primary field of study.
- Carry out a comprehensive investigation.
- Form logical conclusions that can be sustained in court and supported by evidence.
- Compile reports in a straightforward and logical manner, employing a methodology that will hold up in court.
- Have a thorough understanding of the relevant legal process and their own involvement in it.
- Have a firm grasp of the fundamental legal principles and terminology.
- Base evidence on fact and not only what they think either party may want to hear.
When it comes to environmental planning, urban development and commercial, residential and government development applications and disputes, engaging an Arborist as an expert witness ensures efficiency, balance and long-term sustainable outcomes for urban development in harmony with urban forestry native vegetation.
Reliable Expert Witness Services
Since the early 1990s, Treescience has been offering expert witness services on various arboriculture-related cases in the states of Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.
We can assist institutional projects and matters concerning urban and municipal arboriculture, including training programs, risk management, auditing and research, as well as compiling technical reports and statements of evidence on a wide range of topics.
In addition to a Master’s degree and an AQF Level 9 certification, our lead scientist Jason-Jay Fletcher also possesses practical experience in all aspects pertaining to tree-related bureaucratic processes. For almost 30 years, this experience has served as the foundation for arboricultural consulting. For expert witness services or minimum AQF level 5 Arborist consultancy, get in touch with Treescience today.