Cranfield University launches “Legal Skills for Accident Investigators” course

Cranfield University launches “Legal Skills for Accident Investigators” course 19 Jan, 11, Source: Cranfield University

Course date: 14-18 Mar 2011

Course overview

The Cranfield Safety and Accident Investigation Centre is proud to offer a new course for transport accident investigators who may find themselves involved in the various legal processes including Coronial Inquiry, Public Inquiry, Fatal Accident Inquiry and both civil and criminal litigation. The course has been developed in close collaboration with qualified and experienced English lawyers, and the professional civil transport accident investigation community.

The aim is to provide an understanding of the role and responsibilities of transport accident investigators with respect to National and International legislation, ICAO International Standards and recommended Practices and other relevant legal processes and how they can report their findings and present their evidence effectively including at legal inquiries.

Accident investigators may work alongside many organisations in the investigation of incidents and accidents. They may be among the first to arrive at an accident scene and will retrieve, examine and investigate physical evidence, to take statements from witnesses and to prepare reports for a variety of legal fora.

They visit a wide range of locations where an accident has taken place such as open spaces, roads, railways and airports. The accidents investigated are varied and investigators have to collect evidence in a way that can be presented with confidence to the coroner, the public inquiry chairman or jury and judge of a court.

On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

Describe the role of the accident investigator within the international and national legal frameworks and how they interact with Coronial, Fatal Accident Inquiry, the Public Inquiry and other relevant legal processes.
Define the role and responsibilities of the accident investigator as expert witness.
Prepare notes and accident reports which can be used appropriately by parallel investigation processes.
Develop the skills to present oral evidence in court effectively.
Develop the skills to respond effectively to cross-examination

Course description

Who Should Attend?

Aircraft, rail and marine accident investigators working for government accident investigation agencies; military accident investigators; accident investigators working for operators, manufacturers, maintainers and regulators. Legal representatives and senior managers of operators, manufacturers, maintainers and regulators.

All lectures and workshops will be in English and due to the intensity of the course those without a thorough knowledge of English would be at a disadvantage. There are no formal qualifications for entry, but course numbers are limited and preference will be given to applicants best able to benefit fully from the course.

More details at

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