Expert Witness Services

The British Self Defence Governing Body provides expert witness services through its chairman Mr Eric Baskind. Eric is a consultant in the use of force, physical interventions, restraints, management of violence & aggression, and martial arts systems.

Eric Baskind is chairman at the Centre for Physical Interventions at the British Self Defence Governing Body (“BSDGB”). He is a Member of the European Violence in Psychiatry Research Group, a Member of European Network for Training in the Management of Aggression, Chair of the Physical Intervention Skills Expert Panel of the Security Industry Authority, the Independent Expert Advisor to the High Secure Services Violence Reduction Manual Steering Group, a member of the College of Policing Mental Health Restraint Expert Reference Group, a member of the College of Policing Guideline Committee Steering Group, a member of the Protect-ED Advisory Board and a member of the National Executive Board of the British Ju-Jitsu Association Governing Body.

Holding both a First Class Honours Law Degree and a Masters Degree in Law he is also a Senior Lecturer in Law at Liverpool John Moores University, a Member of the Society of Legal Scholars, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Eric is regularly invited to chair and speak at violence-reduction and restraint conferences.

Eric Baskind has considerable experience of giving expert evidence, having been instructed, by both claimant and defendant solicitors, and in criminal matters, in hundreds of cases involving control & restraint, unarmed defensive tactics, self-defence and martial arts systems, including those systems taught to police, prison officers and healthcare staff, including secure psychiatric settings where he has a particular research interest. He accepts instructions from the UK and overseas.

He is listed in the current editions of the Law Society’s Directory of Expert Witnesses, the UK Register of Expert Witnesses and APIL’s expert witness database as a 1st tier expert.

Eric has also advised numerous organisations including the Home Office, Prison Officers’ Association, Security Industry Authority, Police Federation, BBC, Howard League for Penal Reform, various Inquiries and the Parliamentary Resources Unit in respect of the management of violence and aggression, the use of force, self-defence and related matters.

Eric was involved in the Lord Carlile of Berriew QC Independent Inquiry into the Use of Physical Restraint in Prisons, Secure Training Centres, and Local Authority Secure Children’s Homes (House of Lords, 2006 and 2011) and is currently serving as a Commissioner on the National Independent Commission on Enforced Removals with specific responsibility for the management of violence and aggression and the use of restraint. The Commission was established in March 2012 and is chaired by Lord Ramsbotham, former Chief Inspector of Her Majesty’s Prisons.

Within martial arts, Eric holds black belts which were first awarded to him by the British Judo Association in 1974. Since then, he has received numerous other qualifications including being appointed an Examiner of the British Judo Association in 1980 and a Senior Referee in 1985. He is currently an 8th Dan black belt awarded by the British Ju-Jitsu Association Governing Body.

Eric Baskind can be contacted at BSDGB head office or by e-mail.
Please ask for a copy of Eric’s CV.


“I instructed Eric Baskind as an Expert Witness to advise Prison Officers (whose Union I represented) on Home Office methods of Control & Restraint in countless pieces of litigation with considerable success in what were at the time ground breaking claims. His vast knowledge of the subject and outstanding professional approach made him a formidable Expert Witness respected and admired even by our opponents.”

Frank Rogers, Director & Head of Business Development, Brown Turner Ross Solicitors. May 2013.

“Mr Baskind’s report is a model of its kind – clear, well-reasoned and logically set out. I am very grateful indeed to Mr Baskind for the time and care he has taken”.

2012. Martial arts case involving significant injuries. Note from David Knifton of Counsel.

“I am more than happy to recommend Mr Baskind. I can confidently say that the evidence of the nature produced by Mr Baskind can make the difference between winning or losing a finely balanced and contested case. It will certainly make the other side sit up and consider their position very carefully. Simply put you want this gentleman on your team rather than being on the opponent’s. I have always found Mr Baskind to be extremely helpful, with a great work ethic and a pleasure to deal with”.

2013. Philip Coulthurst. Solicitor. Tranters Freeclaim Solicitors.

“Mr Baskind was an absolute star. He talked with authority about training techniques … wonderful stuff going directly to the issues in the case. Mr Baskind was completely unshaken by anything put to him by the Prosecutor.”

2001. Allegation of assault against serving police officer while making arrest. Extract from instructing solicitor’s letter acting for Defendant.

“I could not prepare a CV as impressive as Mr Baskind’s”.

2005. Assault. Martial arts techniques at issue. Instructed by Prosecution. Extract from Defendant’s Expert’s report.

“I am faced with evidence from two experts, Mr Baskind for the Defendant and Mr X for the claimant. Counsel invites me to conclude that these are each experts in their field who have come to differing conclusions. I have considered the expert evidence carefully. It is a matter for the court to exercise its discretion in weighing up the quality of that expert evidence. One factor in doing so is the experience of the experts and it is evident to me that both gentlemen are extremely experienced within their field. Another factor is the independence of the experts. In that respect it must be said that Mr Baskind has a manifestly broader-based experience in the field of control and restraint [compared to Mr X]. Of the greatest importance in weighing up the expert evidence is the quality of the reports themselves. Considering the report of Mr X, the way in which it addresses questions is, in my view, far from ideal. By contrast, the report of Mr Baskind argues and reasons fully the issues in the techniques adopted by the Prison Service.

2003. Claim brought by prison officer following injuries sustained during Control & Restraint training. Extract from Judgment.

“Mr Baskind’s evidence was persuasive and compelling. His report was comprehensive and clear. He demonstrated his experience in the witness box under heavy cross-examination. His advice to us prior to issuing proceedings was invaluable and enabled Counsel to draft the Particulars of Claim with the level of technical detail needed.”

2004. Claim brought by male against Police alleging assault by police officers during arrest. Extract from instructing solicitor’s letter.

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