Expert witnesses are commonly instructed in asylum and human rights proceedings. Most often, they address the conditions in the applicant’s country of origin, or their physical or mental health.
What issues do our experts typically address?
Our mental health experts are instructed to assess for mental disorder, current mental health, treatment needs, prognosis, and, or risk of relapse. Issues of risk form most of our instructions in immigration cases; our experts are often asked to comment on risk of suicide in the context of detention and deportation. Expert Court Reports Ltd accepts instructions from the UK Border Authority, from the Asylum and Immigration chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal and from legal representatives acting for the asylum seeker or immigrant.
In so many cases of this nature, there is history of profound trauma. At Expert Court Reports we have the necessary expertise to provide detailed assessments of past trauma, the effect of trauma on the present and the potential effects in the future. We have experience of considering the likelihood of adverse effects on an asylum seekers or immigrant’s mental health. Such knowledge is important when considering such cases as is a comparative assessment of prognosis with or without a return to the country of origin. Although the issue of human rights is a matter for the tribunal or court to decide, psychiatrists and psychologists may be called upon to consider certain characteristics which may enable the tribunal or court to make its decision.
Our country-of-origin experts may be required to comment upon an applicant’s country of origin, not just because of the effect that the return would have on the applicant’s mental health. There may be other issues which require the evidence of a country-of-origin expert. For example, applicants who are seeking asylum to escape political persecution may be put in danger if they were to be forced to return to their country of origin, particularly if their political views conflict with the governing authority of the country of origin. Similarly, there may be other factors which would place the immigrant in peril if they were to be returned to the country of origin. Examples of such factors include an applicant’s sexuality. Many people would face severe sanctions if they were forced to return to a country where the state is opposed to LGBTQ+ people.
An asylum seekers or immigrant’s physical health may also warrant the provision of expert evidence. Our general practitioners are often required to form opinions to inform immigration proceedings. If the asylum seekers or immigrant’s return to the country of origin would result in adverse health outcomes due to a physical disorder, an expert will be required to provide information about physical health, treatment needs, and prognosis. Although general practitioners are often instructed to provide medical reports, other health professionals such as physicians, surgeons, physiotherapists, and pharmacists may also be required to provide evidence about physical disorder and treatment needs.
We have experience of providing reports in urgent cases; you may require a report urgently to assist in an appeal against deportation. We recognise time is of the essence, particularly if there is a pending forced removal. As with all our practice, our sole purpose is to provide objective evidence. We welcome instructions from all parties and by doing so, our experts maintain objectivity and reliability as expert witnesses.
Where do assessments take place?
We can undertake assessments in your offices, in immigration and removal centre’s, at court, in third-party premises (such as housing charities etc) and in prison. We can provide our expert services within the Legal Aid Agency fee structure.
Looking for an expert to undertake you assessment
If you are looking for an expert witness for immigration proceedings, please get in touch and we will be happy to help. Whether you need a psychiatrist or psychologist to establish mental disorder/treatment needs and the risks associated with removal to a country of origin, a medical expert to comment on physical disorder, or a specialist country of origin report from one of our country-of-origin experts, call us on 01865 587865 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we may be able to help you.