Cuts for Expert Family Witnesses

Cuts to the Legal Aid budget have seen the fee for experts asked to give evidence in care proceedings cases reduced by 20%. The court pays an hourly rate in such cases to experts who are Independent Social Workers, Child Psychiatrists and Paediatricians. It is argued by the Confederation of Independent Social Workers and the Association of Lawyers for Children that courts may find it harder to attract expert witness and so children involved in difficult cases could suffer from a lack of independent opinion and valuable forensic work.