What is a medicolegal report?
A medicolegal (sometimes written as medico-legal or medicolegal) report is a report which is written by a doctor or another health professional for legal proceedings. A medicolegal report is the written evidence of a medical expert witness. Medicolegal reports may be commissioned for actual or potential litigation.
Expert Court Reports is a medical reporting agency which provides expert witnesses and medicolegal court reports for solicitors, barristers and other agencies including the police, probation services, prisons and third-sector organisations as well as private clients. We are a trusted provider of medicolegal reports. We produce reports for various legal proceedings including personal injury and clinical negligence, criminal law, family law and care proceedings, prison law, parole board hearings, employment law and immigration law. Our psychiatric experts have completed the Bond Solon training and all our experts are familiar with medico legal report guidelines.
Personal injury and clinical negligence
Medicolegal reports are needed to establish psychiatric injuries in personal injury cases. They also enable the court to quantify the injuries suffered. Although it is for the court to decide, medicolegal reports can assist in demonstrating causation. They may also be important in enabling parties to agree, or for the court to decide on quantum.
We are regularly instructed to provide medicolegal reports in criminal proceedings. Our psychiatrists and psychologists are experienced in assessing a defendant’s fitness to plead. Medicolegal reports are often required to comment on a defendant’s mental state at the material time. We are often asked how mental capacity may affect a defendant’s ability to form mens rea. In some cases, we are asked to comment on the defence of insanity (as per the M’Naghten rules). Medicolegal reports may also be required to assist the court in sentencing.
Family law and care proceedings
In family law and child care proceedings, a medicolegal report can establish whether a parent has a mental disorder. We can comment on whether the symptoms or manifestations of that disorder has a bearing on the child’s safety. A forensic assessment of a parent’s risk, particularly where there is a history of offending, may also be required. As well as providing medicolegal reports in public law proceedings, our experts can provide reports in private law proceedings where concerns or allegations have been raised by one parent against another.
Prison law and the Parole Board
We are experienced in preparing medicolegal reports in prison law proceedings. Judicial reviews of decisions taken in the management of mentally disordered prisoners often call for psychiatric evidence. We can provide evidence to support claims of discrimination and personal injury claims in prisoners who have been the victim of assault. Our experts are often called upon to prepare expert reports for the Parole Board and our experts have experience of giving evidence at oral hearings.
Our experts are often called to assess employees who allege that they have been subject of discrimination on the basis of a characteristic that is protected by the Equality Act 2010 such as sex, sexual orientation, race or disability. A medicolegal report will be required to comment on whether an employee is impaired to assist the tribunal in concluding whether the employee has a disability under section 6(1) of the Equality Act 2010. A medicolegal report may also be required in the context of employment tribunal proceedings to address the issue of psychiatric damage.
Our expert clinicians are often commissioned to provide medicolegal reports in immigration proceedings. We are often asked to comment on risk of suicide in the context of detention and deportation. We accept instructions for medicolegal reports from the UK Visas and Immigration (formerly the UK Border Authority). We can also act for the Asylum and Immigration chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal and for the asylum seeker.