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Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law

Expert Witness Testimony Workshop

Fri, 27 Oct 2023
27 Oct 2023 9:30 AM
28 Oct 2023 3:30 PM

About this event

Mental health clinicians acting as expert witnesses are tasked with forming and communicating an expert opinion, grounded in clinical expertise, to assist a decision-maker (such as a court or a legal tribunal) regarding a matter of dispute in which mental health factors are potentially relevant.

In this two-day workshop, senior lawyers, psychologists, and psychiatrists will provide attendees with the skills and knowledge to become confident in the role of expert witness, based on the relevant literature and their experiences in law and forensic psychiatry.

Topics include

  • Preparing for and handling cross-examination
  • Formulating clinical opinions to assist with sentencing
  • Managing the lawyer/expert interface
  • Application of relevant Supreme Court Expert Evidence Notes

Click here to register for this event.


The Honourable Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth studied law in Western Australia, and as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. She was a solicitor for four years, before joining the Victorian Bar in 1991. She was appointed senior counsel in 2002. She is a current or past member of various bodies, including the International Commission of Jurists, the Council of Legal Education, the Public Interest Law Clearing House, the Forensic Leave Panel and the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine. A Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, and an Honorary Fellow of St Edmund Hall, Oxford, she has taught judges, practitioners and students in a broad range of subjects, including advocacy, evidence, procedure and legal writing. Appointed to the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2004, she has sat in criminal and civil trials and appeals. She was the Principal Judge in the Criminal Division between 2018 and 2022.

Tim Marsh has practiced exclusively in criminal law for over 20 years. Tim was appointed as a Senior Public Defender at Victoria Legal Aid in 2011. In 2013, he was appointed as Chief Counsel, and for the next 7 years led VLA Chambers, before deciding to return to the Bar in November 2020. While Tim practices in all areas of crime, he has a strong practice in mental impairment and disability law. His work at first instance and on appeal in this area have helped clarify and reshape how the Victorian Courts treat offenders with mental illnesses. In 2020, his advocacy in the decision of Brown v The Queen saw the 2017 case of DPP v O'Neill overturned, allowing courts to take personality disorders into account in sentencing. Tim was counsel in the landmark case of DPP v Walters, which saw the controversial 'baseline sentencing' reforms declared 'incapable of practical application' by the Court of Appeal. Tim regularly appears in serious homicide cases: he was counsel at first instance for Jaymes Todd (the murder of Eurydice Dixon) and Codey Herrmann (the murder of Aiia Maasarwe). In 2021, he successfully resisted an attempt by the DPP to overturn the 36-year sentence imposed on Codey Herrmann before a full bench of the Court of Appeal in a decision of national significance for the sentencing of aboriginal offenders. Tim was a member of the Victorian Law Reform Steering Committee for the VLRC reference into mental impairment and is a past legal member of the Mental Health Review Board.

Sam Norton is a partner at Stary Norton Halphen Criminal lawyers, is an accredited criminal law specialist, and is ranked in the Doyles’ guide as a Preeminent Criminal Defence solicitor. He is an advocate with extensive experience in trials and plea hearings in both the Supreme Court and County Court – including those under the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act. Sam has appeared in a number of fitness investigations and mental impairment trials including but not limited to homicides. He also has extensive experience adducing evidence from psychiatrists and psychologists at plea hearings and bail applications.

Diana Piekusis KC is a Senior Crown Prosecutor at the Office of Public Prosecutions. Diana has extensive experience in criminal law and appears predominantly in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Diana also appears and provides advice in relation to matters under the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act and the Serious Offenders Act. Diana provides instructions to counsel and solicitors regarding expert evidence in all criminal matters.

Dr Andrew Carroll has worked as a forensic psychiatrist in both treatment and assessment roles in Australia for over 25 years. He is currently working as Deputy Chief Psychiatrist (Forensic Mental Health) at the Victorian Department of Health. He has extensive experience as an expert witness in both criminal and civil fields. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science (Swinburne University of Technology) and has published on a range of topics including the interface between mental disorder and sentencing in the criminal courts.

Dr Michael Davis is a Forensic Clinical Psychologist in full time private practice and the National Chair of the APS College of Forensic Psychologists. He has adjunct appointments at Swinburne, Monash, and Melbourne Universities. Dr Davis’ consulting practice is divided between forensic clinical assessment tasks and providing behavioural investigative advice to police agencies. He has provided behavioural investigative advice to police in several countries across three continents and serves as an instructor to the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI. Dr Davis has conducted hundreds of assessments for the courts and in consultation for area mental health services, government departments, and private lawyers. He has given expert evidence several hundred times on the topics of risk assessment, personality disorder, and sexual deviance.

Click here to register for this event.

Graduate House, University of Melbourne
220 Leicester St, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia

PO Box 23370, Docklands, Victoria, 8012, Australia

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