The documentation of torture is a specialist area of medicine which requires consideration of both physical and psychological consequences of gross human rights abuses.
The documentation of torture is not taught in medical schools and is an area of expertise confined to a relatively small number of clinicians.
Neither forensic medicine nor documentation of torture are recognised as specialties by the General Medical Council. The GMC has not created a specialist register for this area of work, nor has it any plans to do so.
There is, therefore, no explicit guidance for the courts as to the criteria for qualification as expert in the evaluation of this kind of clinical evidence. In the case of Pool v the GMC, the High Court held that, in the absence of formally recognised certification pathways, expertise can only be demonstrated by reference to training, experience and research.
All the doctors who are members of Forrest MLS satisfy those criteria, by means of:
- Research in biomedical or psychological consequences of human rights abuses and injury including attendance and presentation at conferences and in scientific journals
- Training in a relevant clinical specialty which deals with physical and/or psychological trauma (especially psychiatry, psychology, general practice, surgery, accident and emergency medicine), in forensic documentation (from a qualified source), by apprenticeship, training, support and peer review both within Forrest and external colleagues
- Experience of relevant practice of providing medico-legal reports for the courts
When recommending any of our members, we try to match their particular skills, availability, location, and gender to the needs of the client.
Our members’ qualifications are set out in short CVs for the court and are available via firstname.lastname@example.org for submissions to the Legal Aid Agency.
Please head emails “Request for CV”, stating whether the primary matters of concern are physical, psychological or combined, with the proviso that the Istanbul Protocol requires consideration of both physical and psychological aspects of the consequences of human rights abuses.
In the event that the particular area of expertise required is not apparent, we will do our best to match the appropriate expert to the instructions provided. The more detailed the instructions, the better the match.
Dr. Frank Arnold
David Rhys Jones – Legal Advisor
Dr. Mary Anderson
Dr. Charmian Goldwyn
Dr. Bernadette de Jager
Dr. Ritesh Sinha
Dr. Tania Longman
Dr Max Cooper
Psychiatrists and Psychologists:
Prof. Tony Hale
Prof. Mohammed Abou-Saleh
Associate members do not currently undertake medico-legal reports via Forrest MLS, but can mentor and support Forrest members and collaborate on generic work where pooled expertise is required.
Professor Cornelius Katona
Dr Juliet Cohen
Ms. Kareema Burney – Administrator
Ms. Sarah Talbot – Consultant