Counsel help doctors to prepare for court

23 Aug

Geoffrey Mitchell, QC, with the doctors


THE PROSPECT of appearing as a witness in court has become less daunting for a group of paediatricians after they received some expert tuition from members of Faculty.

Earlier this year, counsel presented a “mock trial” at a course run by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in Edinburgh, where delegates were cross-examined by advocates on professional witness reports which they had prepared from fictitious case studies.

“Some of the doctors expressed interest in learning more about the Scottish legal system, and in seeing a real court ‘in action’, as it were,” said Geoffrey Mitchell, QC.

Arrangements were made for a visit to the Faculty, and six doctors were shown around Parliament House and the Advocates Library, and they also saw proceedings in the Court of Session and the High Court.

“I was delighted to be able to extend this invitation on behalf of the Faculty and I think they enjoyed the day,” added Mr Mitchell.

“Clearly, it is important that we maintain links with other professional bodies. It was also a privilege to be able to help them get to grips with the Scottish legal structure, and the task of giving evidence in court.”

Marnie Greenrod, head of RCPCH Child Protection Education, said: “After a successful series of courses in London around report writing and preparing for court appearances, there was a recognised need to tailor these courses for a Scottish audience. We are greatly indebted to the advocates who so generously offered their time and expertise in better preparing our paediatricians for appearances in court.”