The Justice Minister, Koen Geens, announced the implementation of a national register, including a reporting obligation, for experts and legal translators. This is detailed in the daily newspapers De Morgen and Het Laatste Nieuws today (Monday) This is a decision which follows complaints against experts who were in league with insurers.
Last year, a report by the Flemish national public service channel VRT revealed a series of cases of victims incapacitated by industrial accidents, in which their insurers refused to indemnify them. This arose after judicial experts considered that they were still able to work.
It was found that these experts had systematically given evidence in favour of these insurance companies in other files, arousing allegations of bias, which severely shook the legal world.
“Currently, a judge in a criminal case may appoint any expert. To guarantee the most absolute impartiality, a national register with a reporting obligation will be brought in next December,” indicated Mr Geens (of the Flemish Christian Democrats).
“When an expert is appointed in a case where there is a risk of a conflict of interests, he will now have a duty to point this out. This allows the judge to thus consider from the start of proceedings whether he wishes to appoint another expert and the various interested parties may also challenge the expert’s involvement.”
Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)