Dr Saal Seneviratne Expert Witness in Psychiatry

Regulatory Matters

The Role of Expert Witnesses


I tend to work with law forms that specialise in representing Registrants am often asked to offer suggestions to Tribunals regarding whether the Notices are publicly displayed, which can be damaging to the Registrant as having their medical history aired publicly during a hearing. Clearly there is pressure on Hearings to be transparent, but a stifling antinomy arise between candour, and duty of care to the Registrant. There is a risk of stigmatisation, the registrant’s medical history being publicly aired, and discrimination based on mental health issues.


Professional misconduct, and fitness to practice go hand in hand. The expert’s role is to assess the Registrant for evidence of mental illness, and decide whether it may have modified someones behaviour, judgment or capacity. Experts can only advise the Tribunals/Hearings and the final decision rests with them.