This is primarily for those in the legal profession who are seeking Expert Witnesses in cases involving, mountaineering, hillwalking, abseiling, indoor and outdoor climbing, outdoor pursuits and related activities.

The Occupiers Liability Act (Republic of Ireland, 1995) and subsequent Supreme Court Judgements (Weir Rogers v , Raleigh v Iarnród Eireann, etc) clearly outlines the individual duty that everyone participating in our sport has to take responsibility for themselves. Likewise, in Northern Ireland, despite the inadequacies of the 1957 and 1987 Occupiers Liability Acts, case law (Tomlinson v Congleton Borough Council, etc) has determined a very similar legal situation. Lord Hoffmann in Tomlinson v Congleton Borough Council (which was about an accident which befell a young man who had dived into open water) commented:

“I think it will be extremely rare for an occupier of land to be under a duty to prevent people from taking risks which are inherent in the activities they freely choose to undertake upon  the land. If people want to climb mountains, go hang-gliding, or swim or dive in ponds or lakes, that is their affair.”

From time to time litigation will occur, mainly related to commercial or instructional activities. Mountaineering Ireland recognises that the conduct of litigation will necessitate the involvement of expert witnesses.  Mountaineering Ireland considers that it is in the interests of the mountaineering community, the parties to litigation, the courts and the legal profession that expert witnesses in cases concerning hillwalking and climbing are known to be authoritative in their respective areas of expertise.  As the national governing body, Mountaineering Ireland wishes to ensure this is the case.

If you require an expert witness service, please email training@mountaineering.ie.