The tasks of an expert witness and his performance are comprehensively regulated. The most important criteria when choosing an expert witness are its neutrality and independence. In the Federal Republic of Germany, the expert witness may be dismissed for the same reasons as a judge, according to §§ 406 (1) Code of Civil Procedure, 74 (1) Code of Criminal Procedure. (1) One reason for dismissal is the concern of bias. Just like a judge, the expert – as a helper of the court – shall avoid anything that might justify a party’s subjective distrust with regard to its independence (3). The expert is, as far as his duty to objectivity and neutrality in relation to the parties to the proceedings is concerned, to be measured by the same standards that apply to a judge.
The employees of the German Association for Data Protection comply with these high requirements for experts. They adhere to the basic principles of the expert system.