CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LIABILITY OF EXPERT WITNESSES ACCORDING TO TURKISH LAW
According to Turkish Law; the courts decides to receive experts witnesses opinions and votes for, apart from law matters, special or technical information with request of one of the parties or automatically. Judges cannot apply expert witnesses where it is possible to solve matters with general information or experience or legal knowledge required by the profession of judge, as mentioned the article 266 of Code of Civil Procedure. The court must only use the expert witness’s knowledge for special or technical information, not for legal issues.
In the Turkish Code of Civil Procedure, expert witness’s legal responsibility separately regulated. As stated in the article 285 of Code of Civil Procedure, if the expert witness arrange an unrealistic report on purpose or in a heavily defective way and the court takes into account this report, those who are damaged can sue against the government because of the unrealistic report. The government, which proves that the expert witness acts on purpose or in a heavily defective way, can escape this responsibility. The government may recourse against expert witness, if it is obliged to compensate the damages.
According to Article 284 of the Code of Civil Procedure, ‘Expert witness is a public official within the meaning of Turkish Penal Code’, Expert witnesses are considered the public official when he/she accepts the task. Not only in the Turkish codes, but also Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Appeal’s jurisprudences accept this situation. So, expert witnesses are included in the scope of perpetrator of crimes committed by public official under Turkish Penal Code.
Otherwise, as stated in the article 276 of Turkish Penal Code prescribing the crime of “Carrying out Profession of Expert Witness and Translator Contrary to the Facts”, if the expert witness or translator misstate the facts or translate wrong on purpose then it will constitute a crime.