When the court needs to know more about a specialist issue in a case, it can appoint one or more experts with special competence in a given field. Experts can be used in criminal and civil cases.

Experts are appointed by the court and paid by the state. Rules on legal qualification apply to experts. It is therefore important that they notify the court of any circumstances that could disqualify them. The parties in a case can also engage their own experts. This type of expert is referred to as an expert witness. There are no criteria for legal qualification for such experts.

Roles in court

When appointing an expert, the court issues a mandate. This defines the parameters of the expert's duties in court. Usually, experts will submit written testimony and provide verbal testimony in court. Experts are subject to a duty of confidentiality concerning their testimony and cannot answer questions concerning it, except in court.

Court attendance for the main hearing is mandatory for them, and they can be present for the entire case. They can also put questions to the parties, witnesses and other experts. Experts do not take part when the judges consult on the outcome of the case. The judges are under no obligation to act on the conclusions of the testimony.

Quality control

Forensic experts and experts giving testimony in child protection cases are subject to commissions that perform quality control of their testimony given in court. One group of forensic experts is the legal psychiatrists. These are psychologists or psychiatrists who give testimony on whether the accused is sound of mind or not. Read more about the criminal sanctions.


Experts can claim remuneration for their work plus covering of their travel expenses and subsistence.

Fees regulation (

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