Hot - tubbing in the witness box
Posted on 6:40pm Sunday 13th Mar 2011
Will experts appearing together in the witness box help to simplify complex trials?
Hot – tubbing : cutting costs and time
An Australian import, officially known as concurrent evidence , involves scrapping the traditional routine of evidence – in – chief followed by cross examination.
Instead experts sit together in the witness box, so they can be interviewed by the judge as well as the parties’ barristers, at the same time.
Supporters say that it will slash litigation costs by leading to quicker results. Litigation lawyers in England are bracing themselves for a revolution in how expert evidence is given in technically complex trials. A recent edict from the High Court has paved the way for trying out a technique called “hot – tubbing”.
Some fear that it could cut corners in the name of economic expediency resulting in a degrading of justice. Some also suggest that barristers and other advocates will resist moves away from traditional evidence – giving because hot-tubbing can shift the spotlight from them to the judge or arbitrator.
The technique has gained currency in the past decade in international arbitration, especially in Australia and was given the nod by the Technology and Construction Court in its most recent guidelines. Now, construction experts believe that officials have targeted a pilot trial for hot – tubbing, probably at the Technology and Construction Court in Manchester.