Perception of District Judges and Lawyers Towards Medico-legal Reports, Medical Certificates and Medical Expert Opinion
Introduction: The medico legal reports and certificates prepared by doctors can be used as valuable documentary evidence in the court of law. The study was designed with objectives to explore the perception of judges and lawyers about the quality of medico legal reports prepared by the doctors and their competence in providing the expert evidence in the court.
Methods: It is a questionnaire based cross sectional study conducted among the district judges and government attorneys of 75 districts of Nepal from March to May 2016. The data obtained was analysed by SPSS version 16.0.
Results: Among a total of 78 participants who responded the questionnaire, 40 (51.3%) were district judges and 38 (48.7%) district attorneys. Most of them graded that the reports prepared by the doctors were just average. Among them, 49 (63.6%) strongly agreed and 28 (36.4%) partially agreed that the reports were useful in deciding the cases. A total of 44 (56.4%) respondents strongly agreed and 34 (43.6%) partially agreed that expert opinion of the doctors in the courts were useful to decide the cases. Seventy one (92.2%) of them rated general doctors as moderately competent.
Conclusions: The medical reports prepared by the Nepalese doctors were just average as perceived by judges and lawyers and the competency in presenting the evidence in courts was moderate as rated by them.
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