DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN EXPERT WITNESS AND A FACTUAL WITNESS
Any time there is a trial; factual witnesses are almost always called to the stand to testify. It is the expert witness who may not be seen as often. Their presence depends on the type of trial taking place. What is the difference between an expert witness and a factual witness? How do both roles help put everything into perspective so that the jury can make an informed decision about a case? While both offer valuable information, the information that is presented by one is much different than the information presented by the other.
A Factual Witness
The factual witness is an individual who knows facts regarding the actual specific case in the courtroom. For example, a person may witness a murder so that they know facts about the specific case being judged. They may have firsthand knowledge that no one else has seen or knows. They give this information to those in the courtroom in order to have their factual testimony admitted as a type of evidence for the case.
The factual witness will take an oath to tell the whole truth about what they know. They then give this information during the court case. It is the lawyer or prosecutor’s job to find discrepancies in the witness’s statement. Once testimony is clarified and the jury has a clearer understanding of the witness’s testimony, they are more able to make an informed decision about the case.
An Expert Witness
The expert witness is quite different from a factual witness. For example, the expert witness can be a doctor, a scientist, or a specialist about a particular body of knowledge that is beyond a specific case, but relevant to the outcome of the specific case. When questions about the Middle East or about the Muslim Community worldwide present themselves, an expert witness like Dr. Shaul Gabbay knows how to present relevant, succinct expert testimony for the case in court.
Asylum trials are frequently cases when calling on an expert witness is advisable. An expert witness may also give their expert advice about something being possible or not possible. Forensic scientists and even dentists can, for example, be called to the stand about crime scene evidence regarding topics such as dental records. In cases that revolve around laws, customs, and cultural practices, a specialist like Dr. Shaul Gabbay can provide meaningful knowledge about how a person seeking asylum is treated within their Muslim homeland: Whether he or she is a Muslim of a particular Muslim sect, or a non-Muslim.
Witnesses can be very important to a case:
Whether an expert witness or a factual witness, expert testimony can be extremely important in any case. In a trial, it is crucial that all of the possibilities, impossibilities, evidence, eyewitnesses, and expert witnesses are presented to the jury. Not having sufficient evidence or witnesses can result in a guilty individual being set free to possibly commit new crimes.
Dr. Shaul Gabbay has influenced many asylum cases and has been a crucial expert witness hired by many lawyers nationwide to support them in their asylum cases. One lawyer said:
“Professor Gabbay provided the testimony we needed in numerous asylum cases I have presented to the Immigration Court. In virtually all of those cases, but for the expert witness testimony, I doubt the cases would have been approved. In fact I would say the cases were not even approvable without this testimony, because much of the information present is simply not available through normal forms of research involving news accounts and human rights reports. Expert testimony from Professor Gabbay fills in these gaps and provides essential, corroboration for the applicant’s account of events.
I recommend Professor Gabbay to anyone with issues involving Islamic society and culture.”