Great care must be taken in compiling a Joint Minute. The Minute is used as evidence and is interpreted by the Courts. An expert has the duty to not tailor his/her medical opinion in order to suit a particular party. Furthermore, the medical practitioner has a duty to provide honest, substantiated expert views on matters that relate to their field of expertise.
The Court in Ndlovu v Road Accident Fund set out guidelines for compiling reports. The Court stated that medical practitioners who compile a report are to give objective testimony. They must also demonstrate diligence by ensuring that all reports have been read as an opinion is of little value if the material facts relied upon are flawed. Additionally, in the reports, assumptions must be clearly distinguished from fact. Should an expert accepts an assumption, his/her reasoning as to such acceptance must be evident in the report.
Another strict requirements to prevent disputes arising out of the competence and experience of an expert, is that medical practitioners are to state their credentials clearly in the report.
It is therefore evident that when compiling a Joint Minute, the experts involved have certain obligations to fulfill, since they are responsible for furnishing judges with information that is outside of judge’s own expertise.