In the Court of Appeal, Dillon L.J. said,

“It is now necessary to consider an argument developed in grounds of appeal and the skeleton argument to the effect that the judge “openly disregarded the evidence”, that being a reference to the evidence of Mr Tremaine, the valuer.

I read the reference to the judge disregarding that evidence as to a submission that the judge did not accept that evidence and indeed rejected it. The thrust of the submission was that the judge was bound to accept the uncontradicted evidence of the plaintiff’s expert.

As far as this way of looking at the case is concerned I would not accept such a criticism. There is nothing to show that the judge, who heard the oral evidence of the valuer, did not consider the valuer’s evidence with care.

And a judge is not bound to accept the uncontradicted opinion evidence of an expert witness. As Lord President Cooper observed in Davie v. Edinburgh Magistrates [1953] S.C. 34 , at 40:

“The parties have invoked the decision of a judicial tribunal and not an oracular pronouncement by an expert.””

Edited for ease of reading. A longer extract from Davie appears  here.

See the other entries under this tag.

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