The European Criminal Bar Association (ECBA) is a leading group of independent criminal defence lawyers in the Council of Europe

The Law Society has published it's final report on 'Safeguarding Expert Evidence in the European Union'.  The ECBA was a key partner in the development and presentation of this project.

This EU-funded project examines procedures for gathering, handling, analysing, interpreting and presenting expert evidence and the procedural safeguards which are necessary to ensure its reliability. The project was designed in the context of judicial co-operation in criminal matters and mutual recognition in the European Union, and with regard to future developments in relation to the European Evidence Warrant and mutual legal assistance.

The Law Society worked in partnership with the Suomen Asianajajaliitto (Finland); Det Danske Advokatsamfund (Denmark); Consiglio Nazionale Forense (Italy); and Slovenska Advokatska Komora (Slovakia). Although not an official partner, the ECBA assisted in the project advising on each stage and participating in the project conference.

Each partner set up a Task Force comprising a defence lawyer, investigator, prosecutor, judge, forensic practitioner and bar association representative. In addition, representatives of 15 Member States and Norway completed questionnaires designed to ascertain the means by which expert evidence is used in criminal proceedings in each of the relevant jurisdictions. Each Task Force examined current practice and procedure in their jurisdiction and produced a research report including recommendations for practical and legislative change. In addition a comparative matrix was produced which offers a detailed analysis of the system in each jurisdiction. Some Task Forces produced recommendations for reform in their own jurisdiction and discussed how best to provide training for legal practitioners in this area.

A high level conference on Safeguarding the use of expert evidence in the European Union was held in September 2008 and the conference materials are also presented below.