The new Code of Civil Procedure defines the purpose of expert opinion and gives priority to joint expert opinion. It also provides for the possibility of the court itself to appoint an expert (CCP Art. 231-241).
The purpose of these new provisions is to reduce costs related to the services of experts called by each party, avoid the production of contradicting reports requiring recourse to a third expert and favour reconciliation of the expert opinions produced, while giving expert witnesses back their true function, which is to inform the court (Art. 231). The failure of previous pilot projects on single expert opinions reveals the need for greater cooperation between the courts and the Barreau. By taking advantage of experiences in other countries, the project will target better understanding of the function of expert opinion in justice, as well as the conditions for success and causes of failures associated with recourse to joint expert opinion. It will frame and document the problem of high costs related to expert opinion, while at the same time exploring the role of the expert, in particular with respect to lawyers, expert opinion’s integration into the justice system, and the involvement of the managing judge in this function.