Expert opinion and its significance in pre-trial detention proceedings

plpolski (Polish)

Expert opinion is often the main evidence enabling prosecution of the defendant. It is also used as a vital piece of evidence justyfying the pre-trial detention. That is why it is very important to analyze it in such cases and point out every error.

In Polish criminal proceedings, expert opinions are prepared when ordered by the prosecutor or the court. When the prosecutor files for the pre-trial detention, the motion must contain information on the evidence indicating that a crime has been committed. In many cases one of these pieces of evidence is an expert opinion.

The defence should analyze every detail of the opinion. It is important to check if the decision on ordering an expert opinion is correct. Ordering an opinion from an expert in the right, specific field is also crucial. The expert must be fully impartial and cannot have any connection to the case or a party. Even without spiecial knowledge one can easily tell if the expert answered all the questions.

Expert opinion vs obstruction of justice

One of the basis justyfying the pre-trial detention is a possibility that the defendant may be tampering with the evidence. However, the defendant has no influence on the expert who is preparing an opinion. Usually all the case files are sent to the expert and the defendant has no control over it. Thus, it is impossible for the defendant to tamper with this piece of evidence and obstruct justice as a result.

Sometimes the defence should protest against ordering an expert opinion if the subject of the opinion does not qualify for it. Par example, the authorities cannot order opinions on legal matters. Another issue is the time when the opinion is ordered. Sometimes it is obvious that, for whatever reason, the authorities delayed ordering the opinion. The procrastination of the prosecutor (or the court) cannot be the reason why the defendant is being detained.


The full article is available in Polish here.

plpolski (Polish)

Zobacz także:

Scope of assessment of an application for pre-trial detention


Defence attorney for a detainee


(Un)justification of the application of pre-trial detention in a situation of severe punishment

dowód areszt

Evidence of a co-suspect’s slander as evidence for his pre-trial detention