Art vs Craft

Expert Evidence in the England and Wales Criminal Justice System


  • Nicci MacLeod


This article describes procedures surrounding expert testimony in U.S. federal courts, exemplifying with details of an expert’s experience in one case. The exemplar is a civil (not criminal) case brought for defamation, tried to a jury in a federal district court, and subsequently appealed to a higher court. The article discusses reasons for which attorneys retain expert linguists, why courts welcome experts when their testimony is deemed helpful in deciding a disputed fact but exclude them if they are not qualified or the proffered testimony is deemed insufficiently helpful or possibly prejudicial to a jury. The article concludes with observations about the pros and cons of serving as a linguistics expert in contested legal matters in an adversarial system.



How to Cite

MacLeod, N. . (2021). Art vs Craft: Expert Evidence in the England and Wales Criminal Justice System. Language and Law / Linguagem E Direito, 8(1). Retrieved from