A glimpse at the effects of forensic science in the courtroom

the role and impact of forensic evidence in the criminal justice process

This was the role of the rhetoricians and today it is the role of the expert witness. Maybe expertise that seeks to conceal its lack of methodological rigour behind an expert with an impeccable reputation should be deemed no more than observational evidence.

It was a recognition of the problems inherent with the admissibility and understanding of expert evidence in criminal proceedings and an acknowledgement of a need for reform that prompted the Law Commission's consultation and review process in England and Wales.

Forensic science methods

Here, the scientific case is compelling, with a solid scientific acceptance of both the science and the technological solutions used to extract and analyse DNA profiles. These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image copyright Science Photo Library Forensic science standards risk slipping since work was transferred to in-house police labs and private firms, the spending watchdog has warned. Ideally, this should not be the case, even acknowledging how important experience and qualifications are, they only really contribute to the interpretation of evidence within a case context. Admissibility of low template DNA evidence. Preferably, practices that fall short of methodological rigour should not be admitted at all, on account of their unreliability. The NAO said the Forensic Science Regulator, which monitors the work, does not have complete data on which police labs are accredited and has no statutory powers to enforce them to comply with standards. Tension points in the relationship between science and the law are exemplified in high-profile cases, including the convictions in Cannings, 2 Dallagher, 3 Clark 4 or Harris. Rennison A. In other words, based solely on the science, a lay person has no means to decide which of two experts, expressing opposing viewpoints, is correct.

We argue for the need for an improved association and outline key areas that require attention from practitioners operating within the fields of both forensic science and law. November - The government launches a consultation over plans to boost the powers of the forensic regulator in England and Wales.

With Frye, that a practice is accepted in a scientific community is not proof of its quality or veracity. These can be salient if the experts can prove that the co-occurrence of two or more of these details is rare in the population but how rare?

A glimpse at the effects of forensic science in the courtroom

Unvalidated or improper forensic science See www.

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Science in the court: pitfalls, challenges and solutions