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Supreme Court of Denmark

Expert lay assessor and expert not disqualified 

Case no. 279/2012

Order made on 14 January 2014.

Weibel Scientific A/S
Nordisk Flyforsikringsgruppe

An expert lay assessor and an expert, both members of the Danish Flight Safety Council, were not disqualified in a case between an aircraft owner and an insurance company concerning an aircraft crash

In connection with the hearing of the appeal before the Supreme Court, the Appellant submitted that an expert lay assessor, an airline captain, and an expert, a meteorologist, were disqualified in the case before the High Court. One of the justifications for this claim was that they had both been members of the Danish Flight Safety Council for a number of years.

The Supreme Court held that the expert lay assessor's membership of the Council and his work to protect the general interest in relation to flight safety did not in itself justify that his full impartiality could be disputed, and that there were no other circumstances which could lead to the conclusion that he was disqualified.

Similarly, there was no basis for concluding that the expert had been disqualified to participate in the case before the High Court.

Consequently, the case was referred to be heard on its merits by the Supreme Court.

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