In accordance with section 12(4) of the Consumer, Trader & Tenancy Tribunal Act 2001, I make the following directions with respect to the conduct before the Tribunal of expert witnesses.

Conflict of Interest

With respect to conflicts of interest, expert witnesses should at the earliest opportunity advise the Tribunal of any actual or perceived conflict of interest that may undermine the reporting function of the independent expert and excuse themselves from further involvement with the assignment.

Conflicts of interest exist when it is likely that an expert could be influenced, or could be seen to be influenced, by a personal interest in carrying out the assigned work. Some situations that may give rise to a conflict of interest are:

  1. the expert witness having a financial interest in or with a party in dispute or having friends or relatives with such an interest;
  2. where the expert witness use the influence of their position to obtain opportunities for future employment, either for themselves, friends, relatives or associates;
  3. accepting a gift or benefit that is intended to or may be seen as intending to cause the expert witness to act in a partial manner in the course of his or her duties;
  4. having a personal, philosophical, religious, moral or political belief or attitude that could influence, or be seen to influence, the impartiality of advice given; and
  5. having or developing personal relationships with a party or a relative or associate of a party to the dispute that goes beyond the level of a professional working relationship.