The Position of Psychological Expert Evidence under the Malaysian Evidence Act 1950
While courts depend on expert opinions in reaching sound judgments, the role of the expert witness in legal proceedings is associated with a litany of problems. Perhaps most prevalent is the question of under what circumstances should testimony be admitted as expert opinion. There is no concept of the ‘free appreciation of evidence’. It will not necessarily suffice, in other words, to show that a given item of evidence is relevant to some disputed issue in the case. Relevance is clearly important, because no court will waste time listening to evidence which is manifestly irrelevant to any fact of the issues in the case; but regard must also be had to the questions of admissibility. Thus, this writing focuses on the relevancy of psychologists’ evidence under Section 45 of the Evidence Act 1950. This writing also addresses the issue of admissibility of psychologists’ evidence and the courts’ attitude towards the reception of expert evidence from psychologists. To date, the Malaysian courts are using strict approach with regards to the issue of permitting the psychologists to give expert testimony in any cases. This strict approach should be relaxed in order to allow the psychological evidence is given to help the judges in deciding any issue related to psychology.
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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)
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