Who we are

The documentation of torture is a specialist area of medicine which requires consideration of both physical and psychological consequences of gross human rights abuses.  It 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 specialities 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 Forrest MLS clinicians members satisfy those criteria, by means of:

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

Research in biomedical or psychological consequences of human rights abuses and injury including attendance and presentation at conferences and in scientific journals

When recommending any of our members, we work hard 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 info@forrestmls.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 Dr. Frank Arnold — Medical Director

Dr Kit Byatt — Education Director

David Rhys Jones David Rhys Jones — Legal Director


Administrative Staff

Ms Kareema Burney — Practice Manager

Ms Tamara Dudziak — Assistant Practice Manager

Ms Sarah Talbot — Consultant


Medical Experts:

Prof. Mohammed Abou-Saleh (psychiatrist)

Dr Syira Ahsan

Dr Israh al-Taei

Dr Francesca Brady (psychologist)

Dr Mary Anderson

Dr Miriam Beeks

Dr Alison Callaway

Dr Max Cooper

Ms Josephine Dale (psychologist; trafficking expert)

Dr Deena El-Shirbiny

Dr Fionnula Finnerty

Dr Charmian Goldwyn

Dr Val Hawes (psychiatrist)

Dr Bernadette de Jager

Dr Tania Longman

Dr Leah McAleer

Dr Tayyibah Munir

Dr Alick Munro

Dr Wendy Phillips

Dr Heather Sharma

Dr John Shenouda

Dr Ritesh Sinha

Dr Phyllis Turvill

Dr Kate Wrigley


Senior Associates

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