Experts in disaster: the capability, fallibity and liability of experts

Liesbeth J. Vink

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal


Everyone makes mistakes. Although errors are usually insignificant, they may have major consequences. Approximately 80% of accidents are due to human error. A person with much experience, i.e. an expert, makes fewer mistakes than others. However, even experts are not infallible. If an expert makes an error, he or she is more likely to be blamed and held liable for it. That may be deservedly so, because experts may fail despite their expertise. An expert should not be blamed if an error results from his or her experience, though. In fact, experts can make errors because of their expertise. Fortunately, judges are focussing more and more on the circumstances in which an error is being made. As a result, the justice system can become more fair and society more safe.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Simmelink, Joep, Supervisor
  • Brookbuis, K., Supervisor, External person
Award date23 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • justice system
  • accidents
  • error
  • experts

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